2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons oil
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 cup beef bouillon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup sliced celery
4 potatoes, peeled
1 cup pearl barley, uncooked
4 cups beef broth/stock
Coat beef with flour; set excess flour aside. In a large skillet or slow-cooking pot with browning unit, heat oil and brown meat on all sides.
Slice peeled potatoes in half lengthwise, and then slice each half into fourths.
In a slow-cooking pot, combine browned beef, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, chopped onion, bouillon, pepper, salt, sugar, and vegetables. Pour broth/stock over all. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours.
Add the uncooked pearl barley about 2-3 hours before stew is finished; or, prepare on the stovetop beforehand (or even the day before), and add to the stew about an hour before it is done so that it absorbs the flavors of the broth.
Turn control on high after the stew has cooked for 8 to 10 hours. Thicken with flour left over from coating (about 1/4 cup) dissolved in a small amount of water (you may need to remove some of the vegetables and beef from the pot in order to do this). Cover and cook on high a further 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Serve with fresh sourdough bread or rolls.
Make-ahead tips: brown the beef the night before. Prepare all vegetables except the potatoes. Cook the pearl barley the day before and refrigerate; then you can just dump it in the Crock Pot when you get home from work.
Posted by elizabeth at February 9, 2003 12:50 AM
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