For the barley:
2 Tbs. olive oil
12 oz. pearl barley
1 cup minced onion
3 Tbs. minced garlic
2 cups pork sausage
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock, warm
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and barley and stir to coat the barley. Add the onion, garlic, and sausage and cook, stirring, until the sausage is almost cooked through, about five minutes. Add the wine and cook until it is almost reduced completely, about one minute.
Add 1/2 cup of the warm stock and reduce the heat to medium. Stir the barley until the liquid is almost absorbed. Continue cooking, adding 1/2 cup of warm stock at a time, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Allow each addition of stock to be absorbed before adding the next, until the grains of barley have expanded and are al dente, about 12 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover and hold near the heat. Before serving, reheat on low if necessary.