Beef and Barley Stew

I love my crockpot!  I actually have 2 larger ones and then a mini one. It is so great to get it ready in the morning or even the night before then start it in the morning.  I want to make sure I this about croc pots.  Know your crockpot.  I have one that even on low it is like cooking on high.  I suggest if you have never cooked with it then use it the first couple times at home so you know just how high your settings are.  Trust me I put my spaghetti sauce on low and came back to it being scorched on the bottom.  Now that could be because it was an older crockpot but I always check out my new ones while I am in the house.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 1/2 lbs of stew meat (I had beef and deer on hand)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive oil
  • 3-4 medium carrots cut into rounds
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 6 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions

  1. Cut stew meat into sizes you prefer.  Heat oil in skillet and brown meat.  Set aside.
    1. When using the crockpot for best results always brown you stew meat/ roasts before putting into crockpot.
  2. Add all your vegies to the crockpot.  Feel free to chop the vegetables to your desired size.  Some people like hearty thick pieces and others prefer smaller bite size.   The jalapeno I would keep small.
  3. Add your broth.  For more of a rich beef flavor you can use beef stock.  I don’t routinely keep beef stock in the pantry so I use what I had on hand.  Note:  If I was using beef stock and had a little red wine on hand you can add that too.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and the browned meat.
  5. Set on low for 8-10 hrs or High for 4-5 hrs.

NOTE:  Remember you can add more vegies if you want.  I used what I had in the fridge which is why I added the jalapeno and the cup of spaghetti sauce.  The spaghetti sauce I figured took the place of tomato paste and additional seasonings.  Don’t forget to TASTE.  Periodically test your stew.  The flavors will develop as it is cooking throughout the day but you can add seasonings.

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