Monday, September 30, 2013

Savory Beef and Barley Stew

A Two for Tuesday Recipe 

One pot meals are a home cook's friend just like the slow cooker. There is one less pot/pan to wash, which to me is a huge hassle because pots and pans always weigh a lot for my little hands. One pot meals also usually mean some kind of soup or stew... which I love! This week I have a pretty neat stew recipe that is now one of my favorites. It's easy to prep and cook ... the hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for it to finish cooking! Although the meat is what makes this stew hearty, to me the star of this recipe is an overlooked ingredient: barley. It's delicious, filling, hearty and it's very good for you. Barley is a whole grain that helps with blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and fat. After the two hour cooking time of this recipe (the two hours seemed to drag on by as the aroma of this dish filled my nose and brain), after the dish was served and ready to eat I was shocked (pleasantly) at how tender the meat was. It was literally melt in your mouth bites of deliciousness. It was juicy, packed with flavor and I just wanted more. Each spoonful was a firework of flavor for your taste buds; a piece of meat, pieces of carrots, onion and celery, barley and of course my favorite pairing rice. I hope you enjoy this dish. Just remember to have patience as it's cooking because it is definitely irresistible!

Serves 4

2lbs chuck roast
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp Herbs de Provance
2/3 cups dried barley

1. In a stock pot, heat olive oil on medium high and brown the meat.

2. When meat is browned on all sides, add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are slightly soft.

3. Add the broth, salt and pepper, bay leaves, and herbs. Bring everything to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

4. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours on low heat.

5. After the 2 hours, add the barley. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

6. When done check for salt and adjust if needed. Remove bay leaves and serve alone or with rice. Enjoy!

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