Beef and Barley Stew

Aspen Highlands
Beef and Barley Stew
Merry-Go-Round Restaurant
Chef De Cuisine Phil House
Aspen, Colorado

4 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. beef stew meat, 1 inch diced
1 ½ c onions, ¼ inch diced
1 ½ c. carrots, ¼ inch diced
1 c. celery, ¼ inch diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 T. sherry vinegar
10 c. beef stock
3 plum tomatoes, 1 inch diced
¾ c. pearl barley, toasted until golden brown
2 T. fresh oregano roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Season the beef stew meat liberally with salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Sear the beef stew meat in a thick bottom pat with the extra virgin olive oil. You may need to do this in small batches, depending on the size of the pot. Once the beef is nicely browned, remove from the pot. 

In the same pot, add vegetables and cook for 2 minutes or until onions become slightly translucent. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cook for 1-2 minutes, ensuring the garlic doesn’t brown (it will make the stew bitter). Add sherry vinegar and allow it to boil off. Add beef broth and tomatoes, then cook until beef is just starting to become tender about 1 hour. 

Add barley and cook until barley is tender. Check the stew for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as necessary.

Serves 8-10

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