Sunday, January 6, 2013

Beef and Barley Stew

Beef and barley stew is one of the most comforting foods I make in the winter.  I've never put the recipe on the blog because it does take a while to make, but it is so worth it.  I often make it on lazy days when I'm home all afternoon, because then it's not too hard to remember to stir it every once in a while.  I first came up with the recipe when we lived in the apartment, about 4 years ago.  So here it is:

Start with 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of stew meat, cut in bite-sized chunks.  Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and dredge it in some flour, then brown it in oil in the bottom of your stew pot.  Take the meat out, add about 2 T oil and 

1 chopped onion
1 diced carrot
1 diced rib of celery
4 chopped garlic cloves

Cook these vegetables for about 5 minutes on med heat, stirring often.  Then put the meat back in and liberally sprinkle everything with worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  I also add about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning.  Add enough water to cover.  (Add Optional nutrition boost: 1 c pureed pumpkin.)  Then bring it to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  You can cut this time frame shorter or make it longer without real problems.  Then add:
1/2 c barley (pearl)
1/2 - 1 c water
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 can of peas 

Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 min or more.

It's a very yummy comfort food perfect for cold days.  It reheats well as leftovers, but I don't freeze it because the texture went kinda funky on me once.  I love that it is packed full of vegetables, but it tastes so beefy that it's one of Nathaniel's favorite meals. 


  1. I wish you lived a bit closer, so I could come enjoy a bowl without putting in the work. Looks delicious...I may have to add it to the dinner list this week! Love you!!

  2. I wish I could cook you dinner! Love you, too.