No ImageBeef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms

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  1. Camille

    I have made this a few times and my husband loves it. I have a comment for Michelle. I too had anxiety about burning the meat. So, the next time I prepared the stew, I preheated Dutch oven to medium-low, instead of medium and sprayed pan with a canola oil each time I added a batch of meat to brown. Worked great. Keeping heat lower once the pan was hot did the trick. All scrapings came up nicely without being burned.

  2. Michelle

    I’ve made this stew many times-it is extremely delicious and not easily messed up :). A few things I always have trouble with though:
    1. There’s no way I can chop the onions, wash the mushrooms and then chop them while browning the meat- it’s just too crazy and I’m worrying about the meat burning etc. so I’d suggest for the novice cook to chop all that beforehand.
    2. Two tbsp of butter never seems enough for my enameled Dutch oven- I always end up adding more oil to prevent burning.
    3. Simmer very gently. You can’t hurry this stew or the meat will be tough and sad. Dedicate sufficient time.
    4. Perhaps the celery root I bought was very old and tough, but it was a battle to peel and cut. I also don’t care much for the taste of celery. I usually use red or gold potatoes instead and it’s still tasty.
    5. I always have trouble scraping the pan of the browned bits… They’re really burned on and it’s hard to clean later.

    Any tips for the above would be greatly appreciated- I love this stew, but the browning meat step is kind of scary and stressful!

  3. Jeff Berman

    I just made this with some baby fingerling potatoes, a rutabaga, a turnip, a parsnip and some celery to replace the celery root. Also added a little leftover red wine to replace some water. Possibly the tastiest thing I have ever made. Thank you!

  4. Christine Murphy

    Perfect stew. New to barley but like the fiber it adds and it thickened the broth nicely. Sub chopped celery for celery root and celery leaves for the dill garnish. Serving sour cream is a new one to me but wow. Recipe is just plain perfect as it is….rare for me not to doctor it up. New subscriber.

  5. perky cox

    We made a few modifications to the underlying basic recipe (which looks awesome as is) just to suit our family’s tastes. We have a couple of sour cream haters, so we left that out completely. We might use plain yogurt spooned at the table if someone wants a more stroganoff flavor in the bowl.

    We also added 2 cans of roasted tomatoes with the stock, used celery instead of celery root, omitted the potatoes, and added 1/2 cup of a good dark ale (Avery Celebration Ale, but Guiness Stout would be great too) during the last 45 minutes of cooking, which gave the alcohol plenty of time to burn off.

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