Why not try this great MasterChef recipe?


  • 50 ml pedro ximenez sherry
  • 20 ml cider vinegar
  • 80 ml chicken stock
  • big splash of cranberry balsamic vinegar
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • couple of cubes of unsalted butter
  • flour for dusting
  • olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • splash of px
  • salt/pepper
  • barley risotto
  • 50 g barley
  • small white onion
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • chopped parsley
  • grated parmesan
  • 4 tbl olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • peas:
  • handful of freshly podded peas
  • small bunch oregano
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • couple of tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt/pepper


  • Barley Risotto: Warm through the onion, garlic and thyme in a medium size pan with half of the olive oil. Add the barley and ¼ of the vegetable stock and stir over a low/medium heat until the stock is absorbed.
  • Continue adding the stock until it is fully absorbed and the barley is cooked (about 30/35 minutes)
  • Set aside and keep warm. To finish and just before serving add the remainder of the olive oil, grated parmesan, chopped parsley and season to taste.
  • Veal Sweetbreads with PX: The sweetbreads will have been soaked in frequently changed water (over two to three hours) cleaned of their outer membrane and gristle, blanched and vacuum packed the night before.
  • To make the sauce: Combine the sherry, vinegars, shallots and garlic in a pan and bring to the boil, reduce by ½, add the stock reduce again by half.
  • Strain though a fine sieve/muslin and discard the solids.
  • When ready to serve, heat the sauce in a clean pan and just as it starts to boil whisk in a couple of cubes of the chilled cubed unsalted butter, take off the heat, season and serve.
  • Sweetbreads: Dust the sweetbreads lightly with flour and season.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium/high heat. Add a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter. As the butter starts to foam, add the sweetbreads, continue to fry, turning occasionally until they are browned on all sides (8/10 minutes).
  • Take off the heat and discard any excess oil. Put a good glug of PX in the pan and transfer to the oven for a further 5 minutes at about 150C (exact time depends on the thickness of the sweetbreads).
  • Peas: Add the podded peas to a pan of heavily salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain. Mix together the olive oil, lemon zest, pepper and oregano leaves. Toss the hot peas in the mixture and serve immediately.


By Dualta Woods for MasterChef Ireland.

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