1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
325 ml (11 fl oz) brown ale
450 ml (4 pint) vegetable stock
3 sage sprigs
4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
5 cm (2 inch) cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
200 g (7 oz) wheatberries
250 g (8 oz) chestnut mushrooms, halved
250 g (8 oz) large closed-cap mushrooms, quartered
salt and pepper
15 g (2 oz) parsley, roughly chopped. to garnish


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat until hot.
2.Add the onion and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until just beginning to soften. Add the garlic, brown ale, stock, sage, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3. Stir in the tomato paste and season well, then bring to the boil. Place the wheatberries and mushrooms in the slow cooker pot.
4.Pour over the hot ale mixture, then cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours until the wheatberries are tender and nearly all the liquid has been absorbed.
5. Stir well, then sprinkle with the parsley. Spoon into shallow bowls to serve.
6.FOR RED PEPPER WHEATBERRY PILAU, fry 1 sliced red onion in the oil as above, then add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and 2 cored, deseeded and sliced red peppers.
7.Stir in 200 ml (7 fl oz) red wine, 600 ml (1 pint) vegetable stock, a small handful of basil leaves and 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste.
8.Season to taste and bring to the boil, then pour over the wheatberries in the slow cooker pot and cook as above. 18:51

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