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Quick Beef and Barley Stew Recipe

Quick Beef and Barley Stew Recipe As we slide into cooler weather here in the Northern Hemisphere (okay, but not in Florida, admittedly) we often start thinking about warmer, heavier dishes for comfort. Amirite or amirite?!? Quick Beef and Barley Stew Recipe Back when I was a heavy meat-eater, this is the type of recipe that would really get my juices flowing. I absolutely adore the flavor of beef in a stew, and it really makes me feel that Fall shiver feeling — you know the one I’m talking about. The “YES, LONG SLEEVE SHIRT WEATHER” shiver. Fireplaces and cozy couches with blankets. Hot chocolate and sweaters. Awww…I need to stop. I might just move back north!!! (not) Quick Beef and Barley Stew Recipe This quick beef and barley stew recipe is so easy and so healthy, but you’ll feel like you slaved over a gourmet meal for hours! If you don’t eat red meat, you could surely substitute for chicken. And if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, hey, just skip the meat part, use vegetable stock and add more veggies! EASY PEASY!! Some Fun Tips/Thoughts:

  1. Searing the meat beforehand adds richness of flavor to the stew. This means to cook the meat over high heat at the beginning to create a nice brown crust on the outside. As Food Network star Anne Burrell always says, “Brown food tastes good!”
  2. The barley gives it a bit of a healthier kick because barley is high in fiber and selenium. What’s selenium, you ask? Well, it’s a trace element that has antioxidant properties: it’s been found to improve the immune system against bacterial and viral infections as well as having a possible role in the prevention of cancer. And if those aren’t all good things, I don’t know what is!! Other foods rich in selenium are mushrooms and brazil nuts.

Feel free to experiment with other types of meat or vegetables to really make it your own or change it up.

Quick Beef and Barley Stew Recipe

Quick Beef and Barley Stew Recipe

Adapted from Eating Well. Use a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. If your beef doesn’t give off liquid, that’s fine. If so, just add along with the beef back to the soup. Remember: you can always decrease oil or salt or add more veggies to make it even healthier.

Serves 8-10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
8 ounces sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons cooking oil, divided (like olive oil or canola)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
4 cups reduced-sodium beef or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Season steak with salt and pepper. Heat just 2 teaspoons of cooking oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over high heat. When hot, add the steak and cook until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

To the same pot, add in the remaining 2 teaspoons cooking oil. When hot, add in the onion, celery and carrot to the pot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, thyme and cook, stirring until the vegetables are beginning to brown, 1-2 minutes. Add barley, broth, water, vinegar and salt. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juice to the pot and heat through, 1-2 minutes.