I am in full on hibernation mode, thanks to the inch or so of snow that fell a few days ago in Chicago and many, many thanks to this stew.
There is just something about a big pot of stew bubbling away all day that makes me want to turn my phone to silent, put on a good movie, and never leave the house.
I am not lying. Yesterday, as Mike and I were heading out to hang out with some friends, I saw a lady walking in front of us that I truly longed to be. She was wearing pajama pants and Ugg’s. She was caryring a plastic bag with two bottles of wine in one hand and a a takeout box in the other hand. Sigh…. If only that was my night. (Sidenote: I was totally happy we went out because I love my friends and I was really happy to see people I hadn’t in quite some time).
I originally wanted to make this in the crockpot. I was doing some research and looking up some well-known crockpot recipes for beef barley soup. I was getting a little frustrated because every single recipe I looked through said to brown all the ingredients before putting them into the crockpot. Don’t mind me, I’m just going to vent a little bit right now. Umm… but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the crockpot?
If I have to cook everything on the stove, I might as well just keep it cooking on the stove, right?
So I made a good ol’ fashioned stick to your bones soup, on the stove. I think this is the perfect meal for a Sunday night dinner.
- 2 Pounds Boneless Beef Butt Tenderloin, trimmed, cubed, and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 4 Cremini Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 Celery Stalks, chopped
- ½ Yellow Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, grated
- ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter
- ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
- 4 Cups Low-Sodium Beef Stock
- 15 Ounces Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ Cup Pearl Barley
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
- Warm a large Dutch oven or large stock pot over high heat for a minute or two. Season beef with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pot. Brown the beef on two sides in two batches, takes about fifteen minutes. Once the beef is browned add it to a plate and set off to the side.
- Reduce heat to medium. Sauté mushrooms for three minutes. Add in the carrot and celery, sauté another three minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the onion, sauté an additional two minutes. Add garlic cook for a minute. Add the beef back to the pot.
- Add the butter and stir in until it melts. Add the flour, stir to combine. Cook flour and butter for a minute.
- Pour in the beef stock and tomatoes. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Stir to combine the flour butter mixture into the soup. Bring to a simmer.
- Add in the barley once the soup is simmering. Cover with lid and let the soup simmer over medium/low heat for 45 – 60 minutes, until barley is puffed and tender.
- Remove bay leaf and thyme stems. Stir in fresh parsley and remove from heat. Let the stew cool for five minutes before serving.
- Stew lasts 3 – 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Soup will last up to a month in an airtight container in the freezer.