Friday, November 27, 2015

Crockpot Harvest Beef and Barley Stew

I have your new favorite Crockpot dinner ready to go! If you're overwhelmed at the thought of a full 24+ hours of cooking for Thanksgiving, this is a perfect recovery meal (that is better than take-out!)

This Harvest Beef and Barley Stew is the perfect set it and forget it meal that is packed with warm, comforting fall flavors. I love how just a few updates on a classic recipe make this stew feel totally new again!

If you're wondering what exactly makes this a "Harvest" stew, it's really quite simple! I added a couple of small diced sweet potatoes, a few dashes of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and chopped fresh rosemary. The sweetness of the potatoes and cinnamon pair well with the tang of tomato soup and the saltiness of the beef broth to create glorious soupy balance!

If food were blankets, this stew would be the biggest, warmest, flannel-iest blanket you could imagine!

The recipe as written includes one teeny, tiny extra step that I think truly makes a difference in the depth of flavor - dredging the beef in flour and browning it in a cast iron pan prior to dumping everything in the slow cooker. This step is optional if you are really in a pinch, but if you have the time give this technique a try!

Here's what you need for Harvest Beef and Barley Stew* (Print Recipe!)

1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, rinsed and chopped
1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
32 ounces low sodium beef broth or stock
1 can Cambell's Condensed Tomato Soup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2/3 cup barley
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese for serving, optional

Here's what you do

Toss the beef together with the flour until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and, once hot, add the beef. Cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Place the chopped vegetables in the bottom of the Crockpot. Top with the browned beef then stir in the beef broth, soup, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, nutmeg and rosemary. Rinse the soup can out with enough water to fill half the can and dump the water into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Turn the heat to high then add the barley. Cook for about 30 minutes longer or until barley is tender. Adjust seasonings then serve topped with red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese.

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

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