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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

roasted beef, mushroom and barley soup

Beef Barley Stew

This past week, the weather in San Francisco has shifted from sunny and warm to rainy and cold. The addition of today's hail finally made it feel more like winter in our fairly stable environment. Days like this call for a warm bowl of hearty beef stew and if you're looking for my two cents, I prefer a lighter broth based stew as opposed to gravy. This recipe for roasted beef and mushroom stew with barley was exactly what was needed to warm the body and soul during our brief glimpse of winter. 

Confession: I am absolutely terrible at preparing meat if it is not prepared in a slow cook method, i.e. crock pot or braised.I have two fears when preparing meat: over salting and under cooking. Therefore, every time I prepare meat it is under salted and over cooked. I typically don't use a lot of salt in my cooking and the amount required to properly season a cut of meat blows my mind every single time. I also don't buy the 'meat keeps cooking after you pull it off the heat' line, even though I know it to be true. Too many cases of food poisoning from undercooked meat at restaurants has left me a bit skeptical.

This healthy beef soup was an all around success despite my poor track record with meat. The roasting of the beef and vegetables added a complexity to the layers of the soup and by using this method, the beef was cooked perfectly. Even reheated as leftovers, the beef remained tender and flavorful without becoming tough. This is definitely a recipe to add to the arsenal of tools to combat the cold winter months.

Beef Barley Stew

Roasted Beef, Mushroom and Barley Soup
Inspired by Teenie Cakes, recipe from Everyday Foods
Serves 4

1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps halved
2 carrots sliced into rounds*
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced*
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1 beef bouillon cube (optional for flavor)*
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together steak, mushrooms, carrots shallots, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until beef and mushrooms are browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a medium pot and add broth and barley. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high, then reduce heat and simmer until barley is soft, about 12 minutes. To serve, season to taste with salt and pepper and top with parsley, if desired.

*I added the carrots, garlic and bouillon cube for extra flavor. For the carrots, I went lazy and grabbed a bag of the fresh pre-sliced carrots from the grocery store. They were perfect. 


SaraHKnows85 said...

yum! looks so good. i'm scared of cooking meat too, luckily i don't have to do it all year since i'm trying vegetarianism in 2011. i will definitely try this recipe next year:)

smalltownoven said...

I'm terrible at cooking meats too but this looks seriously delicious!

Evan @swEEts said...

I have to admit I don't do a majority of the cooking meals at our house.. I am lucky enough to have a fiance that loves to do that so I will be certainly sharing this with him :)

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

My hubby would love that!