There's something about cooking soups and stews that impresses me every time . . .
And this beef barley stew is no exception.
I think it's the way a few simple ingredients pull together to create a delicious, soul-warming meal.
I've mentioned this children's book in another post but it's worth bringing up again --
Do you know the story?
Originally written by Robert Moser in the early 1800's, the tale has many variations.
The version I recall from my childhood involved a clever, weary traveler who convinced villagers to contribute various ingredients to assist his "magic" stone.
From a pot of warm water to vegetables to meat, everyone contributed a bit in hopes of witnessing the "magic" of the stone.
The result was a delicious soup which was enjoyed by the traveler and villagers.
As you make beef barley stew, you'll come to understand "kitchen wizardry."
Below is a recipe, but think of it more as a guide.
Feel free to add celery, potatoes, tomatoes -- whatever you have on hand. You may need to increase the liquid a bit if adding items that tend to absorb liquid -- like potatoes.
In our house, we have varied opinions about spinach.
To keep everyone happy, I serve this stew with spinach on the side and a bit of balsamic vinegar on the table for everyone to drizzle over the top before eating.
IF you have leftovers, you may find you need to add a bit more liquid (beef broth or water) when you reheat.