Porridge or grød is the closest the Danes come to a risotto. They don’t use rice but instead make the most of the grains they have on hand – barley, oats and wheat. This recipe is more of an autumn porridge with mushrooms and chard. Adapt the vegetables to the season.
Barley & Mushroom Grød
Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
350g mixed seasonal mushrooms, such as shiitake, chestnut, chanterelle, king, oyster and beech, sliced if large and stems finely chopped
2 tbsp grapeseed or sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
225g pearled barley
100ml dry white wine
75g Vesterhavsost or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
25g unsalted butter
150g mixed baby Swiss chard or beetroot greens
Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Heat the oil in large, deep frying pan and cook the onion for 5-8 minutes until tender. Add any chopped mushroom stems and cook to just soften. Add the barley to the pan and stir to coat, then add the wine and leave to bubble for 2-3 minutes. Stir in 2 ladles of the stock and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Keep adding stock, a few ladlefuls at a time, until almost all of it is used and the barley is tender; the barley will take about 25 minutes to cook and should still be a touch nutty to the bite. Season, then remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the sliced mushrooms over very high heat until golden and just softened. Stir in the greens and cook until just wilted. Uncover the porridge and stir, adjusting the seasoning with salt if necessary. Add a little more stock if it’s too thick, it should be loose and creamy. Spoon the mushrooms and greens over the top and serve with extra cheese.
Extracted from Copenhagen Cult Recipes by Christine Rudolph and Susie Theodorou (Murdoch Books, approx €22.50). Photography by Christine Rudolph.