Slow-braised beef and barley

    Slow-braised beef and barley

    274saves
    10hr35min


    38 people made this

    About this recipe: Juniper berries give this beef stew dish a distinctive flavour. The beef is slowly simmered until meltingly tender, while nourishing pot barley soaks up some of the juices and thickens the rich gravy to make a hearty casserole. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable such as French beans or spring greens.

    Ingredients
    Serves: 4 

    • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) beef chuck or lean braising steak, trimmed and cut into 5 cm (2 in) cubes
    • 2 garlic cloves, halved
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 6 juniper berries, lightly crushed
    • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
    • 250 ml (8½ fl oz) full-bodied red wine
    • 12 baby onions
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 55g (2 oz) pearl barley
    • 400ml (14 fl oz) beef stock
    • 3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
    • 2 celery sticks, sliced
    • 1 swede, cut into 4 cm (1½ in) chunks
    • salt and pepper

    Method
    Prep:8hr20min  ›  Cook:2hr15min  ›  Ready in:10hr35min 

    1. Put the beef in a bowl with the garlic, bay leaves, juniper berries and thyme. Pour over the wine, then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
    2. The next day, preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF, gas mark 3). Put the button onions in a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave for 2 minutes, then drain. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins. Set the onions aside.
    3. Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a moderately high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Do this in batches, if necessary, so the pan is not overcrowded. Remove the beef from the casserole and set aside on a plate.
    4. Add the onions to the casserole and cook gently for 3–4 minutes or until lightly coloured all over. Add the barley and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then return the beef and any beefy juices to the casserole. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer.
    5. Strain the marinade into the casserole, and add the bay leaves and sprig of thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, transfer to the oven and braise for 45 minutes.
    6. Add the carrots, celery and swede, and stir to mix. Cover again and braise for a further 1–1¼ hours or until the beef, barley and vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stalk before serving.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of vitamin A. Good source of vitamin C. Useful source of calcium, copper, folate, iron, niacin, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin E, zinc.

    Another idea

    The gravy will be quite thick. If you prefer it slightly thinner, stir in an extra 120 ml (4 fl oz) beef stock 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

    Plus points

    Pot barley retains the outer layers of the grain (these are removed in the milling of pearl barley), and it therefore contains all the nutrients of the whole grain. * The barley grain contains gummy fibres called beta-glucans, which appear to have significant cholesterol-lowering properties. It also boasts a very low Glycaemic Index. * Beef is an excellent source of iron, both in terms of the quantity that is present and the efficient way it is absorbed by the body.

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    Reviews (5)

    by
    2

    Dried mix soaks up the juices so it is quite thick which I liked. Delicious with crusty bread and suitable for anyone who has diabetes. - 05 Jul 2011

    by
    1

    Altered ingredient amounts. I didn't have pearl barley so used a mix of dried barley, lentils, split peas, peas and beans instead. Really nice result. - 05 Jul 2011

    by
    1

    Really delicious! Even my 1year old ate it.. didn't use all the wine (2/3rds only) only to make sure she would eat it but next time i'll use all the wine. - 15 Dec 2008

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