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Beef and barley vegetable stew

January 6, 2014

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Well as most of you know it’s like 100 degrees below zero in the great state of MN. And really the only way to survive this weather is to make stew, thick, stick to your ribs, stew. I came across this recipe (and samples) at my local co-op, Valley Natural Foods, a couple weeks ago and have been waiting for the right day to make it. Well this Sunday just happened to be the perfect day. 

As you may recall, Mike doesn’t really consider soup a true meal, but had mentioned in the past that he would eat stew for dinner so I had high hopes for this one. Mike also appreciates a really thick soup so I did add a little broth/flour slurry near the end so it would be extra thick. For the slurry whisk together about 1 tbsp of flour and a cup of broth to combine and mix into the stew. Other than that, I didn’t really make any other changes to this recipe. The sample I had at the co-op was really quite tasty.

Adapted from Valley Natural Foods 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 leeks sliced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence (or italian seasoning)
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp worchestire
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 rutabaga, chopped
  • 1 large potato, chopped (I used a yukon gold potato, but you could really use any potato)
  • ¼ cup minced parsley
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • Sour Cream (optional topping)

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in dutch oven or large sauce pot and add onion, garlic, leeks, tomato paste and beef stew meat and Herbs de Provence. Cook for 8-10 minutes to brown beef and soften onions. Be sure to stir frequently. Add the broth and worchestire and simmer on medium low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Next, add the carrots, celery, rutabaga, parsley, potato and barley and cook an additional 45 minutes, again stirring occasionally. Test the potatoes after 45 minutes to make sure they are soft and you’re ready to serve. I topped mine with a little sour cream and served with some good crusty sourdough bread. 

This is another one of those that really does taste better when it’s freezing cold outside, but would be good for any Sunday supper. 

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