Sunday, September 8, 2013

Beef Barley Stew with Greens

I snuck this hearty stew in on a cool and cloudy September day before predicted 100 degree highs--must be Indian summer. Lots of wonderful fresh fall veggies from the local farmer's market (everything one dollar!) and herb garden. I made the beef broth from scratch (to celebrate my new chest freezer), but the strong, earthy flavors would shine through just fine with bouillon.The textures will be best if you make the stew in this order, but this could be adapted for crock pot.

2.5-3 lbs. stew beef, 1" cubes
3 small onions, in chunks
4-5 Roma tomatoes (or 2 Tbsp. tomato paste)
2 c. carrots, cut bite-sized
1.5 c. pearled barley
2-3 quarts beef broth
1 bundle turnip greens
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. dry sherry
2 Tbsp. butter + 1 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. black pepper
2-3 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika

Sprinkle the beef cubes with some of the salt and pepper and toss with the flour and paprika. Heat the butter and oil in a dutch oven until very hot. Brown the meat in batches (to avoid crowding the pan) so that has golden brown edges.

Cut open the tomatoes and remove the seeds, then chop coarsely. Add the tomatoes (or paste) into the pot, and scrape with a wooden spoon, using the tomato to loosen the browned flour. Add back in the cooked meat and onion chunks, and stir to combine. Add the beef broth,rosemary, and barley and bring to a simmer.

Simmer the stew for 45 minutes or until the meat and barley are tender. Add in the carrot chunks, garlic, and sherry, and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Add in the greens and cover, simmer 2-3 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper (try adding a dash of vinegar or pinch of sugar if the flavor needs more pop).

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