John has been telling me he was craving beef stew with barley for a little over a week now. And of course, since he brought it up, I started craving it as well. Despite the fact that I had just made a batch of Brunswick stew, I felt this would be a good thing to keep him stocked up for the next week.
I did some research to try to learn how to make effective beef stew (mine usually turns out more like beef soup). Once I had cobbled together ideas for what I thought would be an effective recipe, I gathered the ingredients that I had on hand. Then on the way to John's place, I stopped and picked up the rest. I chose to use a red blend from my stash for the red wine, a decision I might rethink if I use this recipe again, however, it was tasty wine, so while not as hearty as I might prefer, still nice enough.
I wanted something that I could start on the stove, but finish in the crockpot. This recipe worked very well for this purpose.
Hungarian Beef Stew with Barley
- 1 1/2 lbs stew beef
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 8 small (or 2 regular) red peppers, sliced
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb red-skinned potatoes, large dice
- 3 carrots, coarsely diced
- 3/4 cup barley
2. Add onion and peppers to pan. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add flour, paprika, caraway seeds and garlic. Continue cooking for 1 minute. Add wine and stir, cooking, until thickened, making sure all dark bits are stirred up from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining liquids, mix well. Cook about 1 minute more and then remove from heat.
3. To assemble: Place carrots and potatoes into the bottom of the crockpot. Place beef on top and then pour wine mixture over all. Cover and cook on LOW for about 6 hours. Adjust seasoning and add barley. Mix well and then cook, covered, for another 1-2 hours on LOW, or until the barley is cooked.