Full Recipe

Beef & Pearl Barley Salad

Recipe - Sirloin and Pearl barley Salad

For the last few weekends Marty (Bentru smoked sausages) has added prime cuts of beef to his offer. He has eye fillet, Scotch fillet and sirloin. Last weekend I decided it was time we had a steak again and bought a very thick piece of sirloin which I cut into two steaks. As there were three of us eating I made a salad and sliced the sirloin to go on top. It was delicious!!


Ingredients (for 3)

2 pieces of sirloin steak (or Scotch fillet)


Marinade for the beef

1 small red onion, peeled and grated

2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated

1 chilli, roughly chopped (optional)

1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp sumac

2 tsps cumin seeds roasted and ground in mortar and pestle with 2 tsps whole allspice seeds (use ground cumin and allspice as an alternative)

Freshly ground black pepper


Reserve 2 tsps of the pounded cumin and allspice for the dressing then mix the balance with the rest of the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish. Add the steaks making sure each side is coated in this thick mixture. Cover and leave for at least an hour or two. The longer the better.


Next make the salad.


Salad ingredients

1 cup of pearl barley or other whole grain such as farro, Ebly wheat

1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into small cubes

1 small bunch of spring onions, finely chopped

Handful each of dried figs and dried apricots, chopped

Plenty of fresh herbs – finely chopped coriander and/or parsley, mint

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1-2 cobs of fresh corn, cooked and kernels sliced off (optional)

1 red or yellow pepper, de-seeded, finely chopped (optional)

2-3 tbsps olive oil



Mix together

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp sumac

2 tsps mixed cumin and allspice (see above)

1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)

Juice of 1 lemon

5 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsps pomegranate dressing (available from Tahsin Turkish Bazaar on Sat & Sun)

Salt and pepper


Cook the pearl barley and drain it well. While it’s warm, mix in about ¾ of the dressing so it absorbs the flavours.


Once the pearl barley has cooled, add the rest of the ingredients. Keep aside some of the chopped herbs to use as a final garnish.


Heat a heavy frying pan or BBQ till hot. Sear the beef quickly on each side – depending on how thick the meat is, this should just be a minute or two on each side. Ideally the steak should be rare or medium rare. Season with salt and leave the steak to rest for 2-3 minutes then slice diagonally.


Place the salad on a platter and top with the sliced meat, drizzle with the rest of the dressing and sprinkle with the herbs. Serve while the meat is warm or at room temperature.