Pearl Barley & Whisky Butter Mushrooms: Recipe

This recipe for pearl barley & whisky butter mushrooms will make the most hardened of carnivores question the idea that every meal requires a meat component. They taste great, have a good, dense texture to them and are really filling. You can eat a few of these as a main, or serve one as a side to accompany another meal. You could make it healthier by removing the whisky butter component but do you really want to do that…?

Pearl Barley & Whisky Butter Mushrooms Recipe

Preparation Time: 15 minutes          /          Cooking Time: 15 minutes          /          Serves 2


  • 6 portobello (or similar) mushrooms
  • 30ml whiskey
  • 20g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 50g feta cheese
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • rind of 1 preserved lemon, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp (2.5g) fresh dill, finely chopped
  • a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 birds eye chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste



  1. Cook the pearl barley as per the instructions on the packet.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200°C fan forced
  3. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms. Dice the stalks and set aside.
  4. Place the mushrooms heads stalk side up onto a tray lined with baking paper.
  5. In a bowl, mix together the softened butter and whiskey. Once combined, place the mixture evenly across all of the mushroom heads.
  6. Sprinkle the mushroom heads with the leaves of 4 thyme sprigs and bake for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
  7. In a bowl combine the mushroom stalks, barley, feta cheese, preserved lemon, thyme, dill, chilli, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil and set aside.
  8. Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry the onions until they become translucent. Remove from the head and transfer into the bowl containing the barley.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste and divide the mixture evenly across each mushroom.
  10. Eat now, or put into the fridge and eat cold later – either way it tastes great.



If you’re adverse to alcohol you could just use butter without the whisky. It won’t taste quite as good, but will still be tasty – add a pinch of sugar to the melted butter for some sweetness.

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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