Thursday, June 13, 2013

Beef and Barley Stew

We were inundated with weather warnings today. First we had a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, then a Flash Flood Warning... followed by a Tornado Warning! The NOAA system for storm notifications provides a 'Watch' - meaning beware. while a 'Warning' means 'this is real and imminent' in your area. The sky was dark, the wind sprang up, but thankfully the storm bypassed us. 

After all this, we were in need of something comforting for dinner. I have been doing some research into an Anti-inflammatory diet. Barley is a fantastic grain to use in this regimen, and I remembered a Rachel Ray recipe I have used for a Beef and Barley Stew. The recipe can be found here. This is a great one-pot, budget, comforting, easy to prepare, pantry-type dish. I included some cabbage to include a cruciferous vegetable and baby spinach for all the nutritional benefits of this leafy green, and I doubled the quantity of barley. I'd denuded my Parsley plants, so didn't have any of this to add... but I would if I did!

1 pound Lean Ground Organic Beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 tblsp chopped fresh Oregano
1 can (14.5oz) Diced Tomatoes in juice
1 cup Pearl Barley
1 quart / 4 cups Beef Broth / Stock
1 cup diced carrot 
2 cups shredded cabbage 
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt 
4+ cups Baby Spinach leaves, washed and dried

Over a medium-high heat, brown the beef in a large saucepan or cast iron pot, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes until meat is browned and onions softened. 

Add the tomatoes and juice, oregano, barley, stock, carrot and cabbage. On a high heat, bring ingredients to a simmering point. Simmer on a low heat, with lid askew, for about an hour until barley has softened. Add Spinach leaves and stir through until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
This dish is great for cooking itself... I went out for a run while the barley softened! 
If I can find it, I would like to try this recipe again using 'Hulled' barley (highest fiber) or 'Pot/Scotch' barley - as these versions have far more fiber than 'Pearl' barley ('polishing' removes the beneficial germ or bran). I think I would have to soak these types of barley and/or precook them before adding to the stew. 
I used fresh Oregano from our rampant Oregano plant - for a garnish too. 

No comments:

Post a Comment