Grass-Fed Beef, Barley and Mushroom Stew
Packed with protein, iron, potassium, fiber and selenium, this comforting stew gets its meatiness from a relatively small amount of beef and almost two pounds of mushrooms. Barley, a cereal grain with nutty flavor, has an appealing toothsome texture that mimics that of the beef.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that when 25 study participants added barley to their diets, they lowered their total cholesterol significantly and increased the amount of good (HDL) cholesterol and decreased the amount of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound grass-fed, sustainable beef, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into one-inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound portabella mushrooms, cleaned and chopped with stems removed
- 1/4 pound shitake mushrooms
- 1/2 pound white button mushrooms
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 cup quick-cooking barley
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Pat beef chunks dry with a paper towel, then place meat on a plate and sprinkle with flour, tossing cubes to coat pieces with flour. Shake off any excess flour, and place beef chunks in pot. Sear beef chunks on each side for three to four minutes, or until caramelized. When seared on all sides, remove beef chunks from pot.
Add carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic to pot. Cook vegetables until slightly softened, about six to seven minutes, stirring frequently. Add bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, thyme and red wine. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a heat-safe rubber spatula or wooden spoon. When all of the wine has absorbed, add the beef broth, add the beef back to the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
Remove lid and stir. Add barley and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until barley is puffed a bit and softened. Remove bay leaves before serving.