Beef Barley Stew
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.
Enjoy! – The Recipe Wench
Beef Barley Stew
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||1 hour|
|Total time||1 hours, 10 minutes|
- 1 Pound flank steak (trimmed of excess fat and cut into bite-sized cubes)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Medium onion (finely chopped)
- 2 Cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 Cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 Cups sliced carrots
- 4 Cups beef broth
- 1-2 Cups water
- 1 Cup pearl barley
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Cups fresh spinach, chopped
- balsamic vinegar (to drizzle on top just prior to serving)
I prefer to use flank steak when I make beef barley stew, but you could also use beef chuck cut into bite-sized cubes.
|In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. |
Quickly brown steak -- this will take a couple minutes.
Add onions, garlic, mushrooms and carrots.
Saute until onions are tender (about 4 minutes).
Add beef broth, water, barley and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer until barley is tender (about 45 minutes).
Remove bay leaves and discard.
|Either stir spinach into stew just before serving or allow everyone to add to their own bowl at the table. |
Ladle into bowls and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.