Have I ever told you I’m not a fan of steak? My husband thinks I’m crazy…actually, most people I know think I’m crazy for not enjoying it. It isn’t even that I don’t eat beef. I do eat it, not a lot, but I do enjoy a good hamburger from time to time. I think it is more the idea of a big, bloody (rare?) piece of meat sitting on my plate and getting juice all over the rest of my food that makes me cringe.
But if that piece of meat is cut into cubes and mixed with some kind of sauce or in a soup, I am all over it! I know. Now you think I’m crazy, too. Well, we like what we like, right?
And I like this stew! Big chunks tender beef, mushrooms, carrots and chewy barley covered in a rich, thick beefy broth make this stew out of this world delicious. It is warm, hearty and filling. Perfect for those cold winter nights, which, much to my dismay, we still have plenty of in store.
Beef and Barley Stew
Inspired by Kristen at Iowa Girl Eats
Makes 8 Servings
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4-5 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 pint mushrooms, sliced
- 4 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs. stew beef
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 8 cups beef broth
- 1 cup barley
- Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.
- Sauté the onions, celery and carrots in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Remove the vegetables from the pot to a plate.
- Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil the stock pot. Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt and pepper in a zip lock bag. Add the stew beef to the flour and shake to coat all the pieces entirely.
- Brown the beef in the olive oil, cooking in batches so the pan does not get crowded. When the beef is browned, remove it to the plate with the vegetables.
- Add the butter to the stock pot, and melt over medium heat. Whisk in the flour that is remaining from dredging the beef. Cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add the beef broth, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps.
- After all the broth has been incorporated, return the vegetables and beef to the broth, along with the barley. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
- Cook for 30-45 minutes, or until the barley is tender.