Friday, December 4, 2009

Easiest, Tastiest Beef Barley Stew

I love making a big pot of beef stew when it is cold and rainy outside. Living in the UK gives me the opportunity to make it alot. This recipe is utterly simple and absolutely doable when you have no time to prep, but loads of time to let the stew bubble away. I skipped browning the beef and use store bought beef stock-- even beef bouillon cubes work. Don't skip the anchovies (yes, anchovies!)-- they do not add a bit of fishy taste, just enhance the beefieness of the stew. Trust me on this one. All the ingredients sort of melt together (except for the beef) making a wondefully rich stew.

3 pounds cubed stewing beef
1 pound oxtail, cut into pieces (optional,  but adds alot of flavour to the dish)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 a celeriac root (celery root), peeled and shredded
1 tin diced tomatoes (juice and all)
1 cup beef stock or water with bouillon cubes
1/4 cup flour
1 cup red wine
3 anchovy fillets, rinsed
1/2 cup pearl barley

1) Place the beef cubes and oxtail into a deep oven-proof dish
(I use a very deep earthenware casserole dish).

2) Layer in the slices of onion,

...then the shredded celeriac

3) Shake the stock and the flour together in a jar until smooth then pour it, the wine and the tomatoes into the pot. Push the anchovies in there, too (just do it!).

4) Cover tightly and place into a 300F (150C) oven and forget about it. It will slowly simmer for hours (minimum 3-- in which case you need to raise the temp by 50 degrees-- but up to 6 hours), until the meat is ten-der. Mmmmmmmmm!

5) 45 minutes before you are ready to eat, take all of the meat out of the pot with a slotted spoon, chip away what you can from the oxtail (but it was more for flavour than its meat) and discard the remining tail. Pour the pearl barley into the (now) rich gravy. Stir to submerge the barley. Add the meat back in, cover and back into the oven it goes for about 45 minutes, until the barley is puffed and soft.

Serves 4-6 alongside some crusty bread rolls....


Judo Rhapsode said...

Thanks! I made this for dinner yesterday. I was skeptical about the anchovies because I usually don't like them, but it went with the stew really well.

JennyB said...

YAY Judo Rhapsode! Glad you liked the stew!