Shiitake Beef and Barley Stew

Summer dragged late into Autumn this year, delaying my enthusiasm for savory soups. This new recipe featuring beef, nutty barley and earthy mushrooms in a hearty broth will leave you warm and satiated on a cold night. 

Shiitake Beef and Barley Stew

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1.5 lbs beef stew meat, cubed and trimmed of fat
  • 3 tbsp + 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp, fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large yellow potato, unpeeled, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp celery leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Toss beef, flour and pepper in a sealed plastic bag until beef is fully coated. Shake beef pieces free of loose flour and place in stew pot (enameled cast iron is ideal) with 3 tbsp oil brought to a medium heat. Keep beef moving in pot until browned on all sides. Remove the meat from the pot.
  2. Warm remaining tablespoon of oil in the pot on medium heat and then add the onion, carrots and celery. When the onion starts to soften, add the garlic and stir for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and stir for five minutes or until they soften and lose most of their moisture.
  3. Add 1 cup of broth to pot. Bring to a boil and deglaze the bottom of the pot to release the flavors there. Add thyme, barley and remaining broth. Bring pot to a full boil. Add potatoes and celery leaves.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer for 50-60 minutes or until barley is tender. The starch from the flour, barley and potato will thicken the stew. Add 1-2 cups hot tap water as needed. Add parsley, pepper and salt to taste. It’s ready to serve with a crusty bread.

A red Bordeaux  blend or Pinot Noir pairs well with this stew.

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