- Course: Main Course
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 86 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
I can’t imagine anything more appealing on a blustery day than a big serving of this ambrosial stew. It’s great for potlucks and outdoor get-togethers because it’s easily transportable and there is nothing to add.
1. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and crumble. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Drain off all but 2 tbsp (25 ml) fat from pan, reserving remainder.
2. On a plate, combine flour, salt, peppercorns and cayenne. Dredge beef in mixture until coated, discarding any excess. Add beef to pan, in batches, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes per batch, adding more bacon drippings between batches if necessary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware as completed.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery and carrots to pan and cook, stirring, until carrots are softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves, nutmeg and orange zest; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add barley, stock, wine, water, tomato paste and orange juice; bring to a boil. Transfer to stoneware and stir well.
4. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until beef is tender. Discard bay leaves. Stir in reserved bacon.
Substitute wheat, spelt or Kamut berries for the barley.
Complete Step 3, heating 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil in pan before softening the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To cook, sauté the bacon and brown the beef. Combine with vegetable mixture and continue with Step 4.
Works best in a large (minimum 5-quart) slow cooker.
The orange zest and juice add wonderful depth to this stew.
Use the variety of barley you prefer — pearled, pot or whole. Whole (also known as hulled) barley is the most nutritious form of the grain.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.