Without question, my favorite food season is Fall. Soups, stews, all things that cook all day and make my house smell like a food dream. Things served with bread….lots of bread and lots of butta…
I don’t use my slow cooker enough. I find that most of the dishes come out a bit opaque and over cooked. Thats why I love this recipe. The beef needs all that slow cooking and look how vibrant the colors are! It has a rich deep flavor and on top of that….it’s healthy! Just don’t tell, nobody will know.
I started with stew meat that I bought already cubed, deepened the flavor by browning in a skillet before tossing in the slow cooker. You could add the meat to the pot uncooked, without the pre browning step and get a good soup, but I like the depth of flavor it adds.
I should also mention that you could easily do this on the stove top. Simply follow the recipe without adding to the slow cooker and cook for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
Because I love easy, I use slow cooker liners and I’m telling ya, I’ll never go back! Reynolds makes them and they are available in the foil and plastic wrap section. Not a paid sponsor for this blog, I just love that product.
And while the slow cooker is slow cooking…you could whip up a batch of one rise, easiest rolls ever! Grab the butta! You mix the dough and shape. Let rise in the oven at 170 degrees and without even removing these beauties you crank up the heat and finish cooking them. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
You might also like this Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon. Sounds fancy, but it’s just beef stew with red wine. A little for the pot…a little for the cook…hiccup!
Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds cubed stew meat - I used chuck roast
- 1 cup onion - diced
- 1 cup carrots - diced
- 1 cup mushrooms - sliced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 6 cups beef broth
- 2/3 cup pearl barley
- salt and pepper to taste
In large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil for about 2-3 minutes.
Add half of beef cubes. Let cook without disturbing for about 3-4 minutes or until a brown crust begins to form. Turn once. Brown an additional 3-4 minutes and place in slow cooker.
Repeat with remaining meat.
To the already hot skillet, add your onion, carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Stirring to remove any flavorful brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.
Saute until onions are just soft. Carrots will still be firm but will continue to cook in the slow cooker.
Add tomato paste and sauté until incorporated into the veggies - it will be a bit thick, just keep stirring! Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Toss all that on top of the beef in your slow cooker.
Add broth and barley.
Stir until well combined.
Cook on low for about 6 hours or high for about 4. Time will vary depending on how hot your slow cooker gets. Check the meat, when tender - its done! Season to taste.