Beef Barley Stew
1-½ pounds beef stew meat
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1. Cut beef stew meat into 1-½” pieces. Sprinkle with flour, paprika, salt, and pepper and toss to coat. In large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add cubes of beef; brown on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes total. Remove beef from pot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
2. Add thyme, mushrooms with their liquid, carrots, and Beef Broth to pot; stir to loosen drippings from bottom of pan. Return beef to pot along with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 1 hour. Add barley, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes longer. Stir in undrained tomatoes and tomato paste; simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until beef, vegetables, and barley are tender, then serve.
This rich stew is perfect for a cold winter's day. Serve it with Triple-Cheese Muffins (page 71) for a warming and easy meal.
Tomato paste is most often sold in 6-ounce cans. If a recipe doesn't call for a whole can, freeze the rest! Portion it into 2-tablespoon mounds and freeze. Then place the mounds in a food-storage bag and freeze up to 3 months. You can also find tomato paste in a tube; just store it in the fridge and measure out the amount you need.