beef barley stew

I know, I know. I’ve been making a lot of one-pot soup/stew type things. Well, it’s freaking cold outside, and there’s really nothing better than a hearty soup/stew to deal with the chill.

You’ll need some beef. I used lean ground beef (I’m cleaning out the freezer to make room for some good meat – to be discussed at another time). You’ll also need some veggies, some beef broth and soy sauce (low sodium works best).

Oh, and don’t forget the barley! Bring 2 1/2 cups of water and 1/8 tsp salt to a boil. Add one cup of dry, pearled barley and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then let sit until you’re ready for it.

Saute your beef in a little olive oil, with some pepper and salt. As it cooks, you can chop up your veggies. For this, I used red onion, garlic, celery and matchstick carrots.

When the first batch of veggies is mostly cooked, add in the mushrooms and a splash of soy sauce (maybe 2 tbsp or so).

Give the mushrooms a few minutes and then add in about half a large box of beef broth.

And then a heaping tablespoon of flour and the same of brown sugar. I know, I know. That sounds weird. You can leave it out if you prefer, but I assure you, it gives a really nice, finished flavor. Trust me on this.

When everything is completely mixed and heated, you can add your barley. Also, I had lima beans leftover from little man’s dinner that I tossed in.

And there you have it – topped with some grated parmesan cheese. There are tons of leftovers, and it was perfect for the near-freezing temperatures.

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