Bring the barley, 3 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the barley is chewy but tender, about 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the bacon in a single layer to a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain; reserve the bacon drippings in the skillet.
Return the skillet to medium heat and melt the butter in the bacon drippings. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Add the peas and stir until heated through, about 1 minute.
Drain any excess liquid from the barley. Stir the barley into the onion-pea mixture. Stir in the dill, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the bacon.
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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens