Saturday, January 15, 2011

Last Night's Dinner: Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms

It's been extremely mofuggin cold around here so a hearty stew was in order! I recently ordered some organic stew beef from Spud. It was in my freezer for a week or so until I finally decided to get on it. I saw a good recipe for a beef barley stew on The Kitchn, and since barley is super healthy and one of my favorite grains, looked like a good idea. So here it is:

Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms
This pot lasted me almost a week, I also froze some. This is the recipe with my modifications

canola oil
2-3 lb of stew beef
1 large onion, diced
8-10 ounces mushrooms (1 package)
3 celery stalks, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup barley
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

1. Film the bottom of a large dutch oven with canola oil and set over medium-high heat until the oil is hot. Working in batches, add a single layer of meat to the bottom of the pan. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes until the cubes loosen and are seared golden-brown. Flip the cubes and sear the other sides.

When all sides are seared, remove the meat to a clean bowl or plate. Sear the remaining meat in batches. If there is any liquid in the pot after the last batch is finished, pour it over the meat.

2. Heat one teaspoon of canola oil in the pan and cook the onions with a pinch of salt until they are translucent and brown around the edges. Add the mushrooms and another pinch of salt, and cook until they have released all the moisture and have turned golden-brown. Add the celery and cook until just softened.

3. Clear a space in the middle of the vegetables and sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the thyme and bay leaf, and stir all the seasonings into the veggies. Pour the wine into the pan to deglaze, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the wine bubbles. Let the wine reduce down until most of it has evaporated or been absorbed by the veggies.

4. Add the meat and any drippings back to the pot. Pour in the stocks (first photo above is some frozen veal broth heating up) and top with enough water to cover the meat and veggies about about a half an inch. Add Worcestershire sauce. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low.

5. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 1 hour. Add the barley and cook for another 45 minutes or so until the barley is cooked and the meat is almost falling apart (check by piercing it with a fork or knife. There should be no resistance and the meat should flake apart with pressure). Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as desired.

Notes: Beef - I honestly cannot say how much I used, probably about 1.3 lb - 0.5 of stew beef and 0.8 of some tender petit beef (not sure what it means, but that's what it said on the label...). If you want the stew beef to be tender, you have to cook it for longer than 1:45. Maybe like 2:30-3:00 hours on low heat. The stew beef in mine didn't fall apart, but the other petit tender or whatever it was called, that was close to it. The stew might look watery in the pictures, but the liquid was soaked up overnight. I used home made veal broth instead of beef stock. And instead of adding water to cover the meat, I added more chicken broth. Also, I used the cheapest red wine I could fine.

All in all, it was really good! Very very hearty. I added 2 tbsp of Worcestershire instead of 1, and you could definitely tell. So just stick to 1.

The Verdict: BF says "'Twas good!" He liked how hearty it was. A good cold day dinner. Try it out! It's a big time consuming, but worth it.

Take care,

Original Recipe: Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms - The Kitchn

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1 comment:

CanadianMama said...

This looks great - I can't wait to try it!!