This Beef, Vegetable and Barley Stew is one of the most comforting meals. With tender chunks of beef, a concentrated broth, potatoes and barley, it’s very hearty and rich.
Chock full of more vegetables – onions, celery, carrots, garlic, tomatoes and mushrooms, this stew does not disappoint.
- 1 lb beef, chopped into 1 inch pieces (I use chuck)
- 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 3–4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2–3 celery stalks, sliced
- 2–3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 dry bay leaf
- 2–3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, optional
- 1/3 cup pearl barley
- 8–10 cups broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
- 6–8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
- salt, ground black pepper
- 1–2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Place the beef in a medium pot and fill it with enough water to cover the beef by about an inch. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook on low heat, covered, until the beef is fork tender, 1 – 1 1/2 hours. While the beef is simmering, use a slotted spoon to skim off all the impurities that will rise to the top. Strain the beef when it’s cooked. Set the beef aside to be added to the soup later. Save the broth to use in addition to more broth that is in the ingredient list.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot or dutch oven, heat the butter or oil and add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, on medium low heat, until the vegetables are softened and just beginning to become golden.
- Add the dry bay leaf, the potatoes and the tomatoes to the broth. The tomatoes are optional. You can omit them or you can use a Tablespoon of tomato paste instead of the fresh tomatoes. Pour in the the broth, bring it to a boil, add the barley and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Add the sliced mushrooms. Cook for another 10 minutes and then discard the dry bay leaf. Taste the stew and add more salt and ground black pepper if necessary.
- Add the cooked beef to the stew as soon as it is fork tender. You can add more or less broth to adjust how thick or thin you want the stew to be. Add the fresh parsley to the stew.
- This stew is great served as a leftover and can be frozen too, which is why I like to make a large batch of it.
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