Slow-cooked stew ideal after taking part in winter sports

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Comfort foods

After a day on the ski slopes, outdoor ice rink or toboggan run, what a treat to come home to a beef and barley stew bubbling in the slow cooker.

Barley, a good source of fibre, thickens the stew without the need for flour.

Serve this warming comfort food over mashed potatoes or with thick slabs of crusty whole-grain bread.

Beef and barley stew

Beef and barley stew - Photo by The Canadian Press

After a day on the ski slopes, outdoor ice rink or toboggan run, what a treat to come home to a beef and barley stew bubbling in the slow cooker.

Barley, a good source of fibre, thickens the stew without the need for flour.

Serve this warming comfort food over mashed potatoes or with thick slabs of crusty whole-grain bread.

Beef and barley stew

500 g (1 lb) stewing beef cubes

30 ml (2 tbsp.) vegetable oil

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

500 ml (2 cups) beef broth

125 ml (1/2 cup) pot or pearl barley, rinsed

15 ml (1 tbsp.) each packed brown sugar, tomato paste and red wine vinegar

2 ml (1/2 tsp.) each salt and dried thyme leaves

1 ml (1/4 tsp.) pepper

250 ml (1 cup) frozen peas, thawed

Trim any excess fat from beef; cut any large pieces smaller.

In a large skillet, heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the oil over medium-high heat; cook beef until browned, in 2 batches if necessary. Transfer to slow cooker.

Add remaining oil to pan; cook onions and carrots for a few minutes until lightly softened. Stir in broth, barley, brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, thyme and pepper; bring to a simmer.

Pour into slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (or on high for 4 to 5 hours) until beef and barley are tender.

Turn off slow cooker. Stir in peas and let stand for 10 minutes to heat peas.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 439 calories, 34 g protein, 17 g fat, 38 g carbohydrates.

Source: Foodland Ontario.

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