Monday, January 18, 2010

Beef & Barley with rosemary and orange

Large slow cooker (5 quart minimum) required.
From the book "The Healthy Slow Cooker" by Judith Finlayson. Book has some whackadoodle recipes I'd never try (in addition to the whole seafood chapter) but has some neat ideas. Did you know you can bake bread in your slow cooker if you have a pan that fits it?

Beef and Barley with Rosemary and Orange
8 servings

2Tbsp olive oil, divided
2lbs trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
8oz mushrooms (small ones quartered, large ones sliced)
3 cooking onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced (I just used about 3/4 cup matchstick carrots)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (2 tsp minced garlic)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary –or- 2tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 cup whole (hulled) or pot barely, rinsed
3 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
Salt, optional (it says if you don’t use reduced sodium beef stock to not add)
(I skipped shrooms because the scare Chris and just used the quaker quick barley)

Persillade (optional):
1 cup finely chopped parsley
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
(note says this adds a “zesty finish” while allowing you to enjoy the health benefits of garlic free from worry about garlic breath because the parsley works to negate any offensive odor.)

1. In a (huge) skillet, heat 1tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches and cook, stirring until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware (I drained mine on paper towels on a plate first and rinsed/wiped out the pan).
2. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to pan. Add mushrooms and toss until lightly seared, about 2 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring until carrots are softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, peppercorns (I used fresh ground pepper) and orange zest and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add barley and toss to coat. Add orange juice, beef stock, and wine and bring to a boil. (this is where the huge skillet is required). Season to taste with salt, if desired. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware, stir well.
3. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or high for 4, or until meat is tender.
4. Persillade (optional): In a bowl, combine parsley, garlic, and vinegar. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Ladle stew onto plates and garnish with persillade, if using.

book recommends a tossed green salad & crusty whole grain roll.

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