Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Roast Beef and Barley Stew

This is such a wonderful, savory stew.  Perfect for leftover roast and veggies. Use any comb of vegetables you like. Had I had my way, I would  have had this brimming with mushrooms!
While even better the next day, it's thick enough to eat with a fork. More beef broth, or even water can be added to thin it out a bit.

Have fun with this and make it your own, and a winter go-to dinner for leftover roast.

canola or  olive oil for  sauteing 
1/2 chopped  onion
2 ribs celery,  chopped
2 carrots,  chopped
2 Tablespoons  tomato  paste

combo of veggies, I used a  handful each of matchstick cut zucchini, green beans, mushrooms

3 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 dried bay leaves
2  teaspoons dried basil
Kosher salt and pepper to  taste
1 1/2  boxes   beef  broth, about 40 oz  or so..doesn't have to be exact
1  cup rinsed and drained uncooked barley
2-4  cups cubed leftover roast beef

2 fat Tablespoons cornstarch..I don't level off the tablespoons, I just scoop out the cornstarch. * If you want  a thinner consistency, try  1  Tablespoon to a couple Tablespoons water first.  After simmering  about 5 minutes, if  it isnt thick enough for you, add  a bit   more of cornstarch melted in a bit of water and stir into the hot, simmering stew.*
1/4  cup cool tap water

 In a large pot  or dutch  oven,  heat vegetable or olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion, celery,  carrots,  and  pinch of salt  and  pepper. Cook and stir just until onion  begins to turn translucent.
Add tomato paste and stir.
Add other  veggies, starting with the ones that will take longest to cook.
Add  bay leaves,  one teaspoon  of the basil, salt and pepper.
Cook and  stir until all  veggies just begin to soften.
Add  broth,  worchestershire,  soy, the  rest of  the basil, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir and bring up to a boil, add  barley, stirring  to  ensure  it  doesn't stick  to the bottom of the pan, then turn back down to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally,  until  barley softens.
Quickly stir in  the cornstarch  slurry, stirring constantly until stew begins to thicken, just a couple minutes.

Add  beef and simmer until beef is heated through and  veggies are desired doneness.  Fish out bay leaves and serve!

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