Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beef and Barley Stew

Here's a savory stew for a wintry day!  This is a great recipe for a Sunday afternoon; it will make the whole house smell nice.

If you've got time, I recommend making a loaf of bread to go along with the stew.  It isn't really much work, just a bit of patience waiting for it to rise, along with a dab of pre-planning the night before.  Here's the easiest bread recipe around :  No-Knead Bread

Yield:  6-12 portions, depending on portion size (and hunger size!)

4 slices of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds lean beef, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup diced celery
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups sliced carrots
6 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup pearled barley
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Cook bacon over medium heat in a large pot until almost crisp.  Toss beef with flour, salt, and pepper.  Add to pan and sear until brown on outside, about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to pan.  Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add beef broth and bay leaves, then simmer for about 45 minutes.

Next, add barley and potatoes and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for about an hour longer, or until potatoes and meat are tender.

Tips:  This is a stew!  You can basically dd whatever you have on hand that will enhance the flavor.  I've added normal things like peas, green beans, and leeks to stews, or more interesting things like beans, shrimp, pasta, and asparagus.  Just make sure you cook it long enough to combine the flavors, and that whatever you add works together.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leah,
    This sounds like something my husband would enjoy. You have lots of great recipes over here. Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend.