This big batch hearty beef stew is full of tender beef, al dente barley, and flavorful cruciferous vegetables. But what really sets it apart are dried porcini mushrooms. They add complex, earthy umami flavor to the stew. Dried porcinis live in the deli section of most supermarkets, but if you can’t find them, it’s okay to substitute an equal amount of another dried mushroom. The porcinis get rehydrated in beef stock in this recipe to bloom their flavor. Both the porcinis and porcini-infused beef stock go into the stew. Each serving is finished with a smattering of fresh parsley for color and freshness.
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
8 cups unsalted beef stock, divided
2 tablespoons canola oil
1½ pounds beef stew meat
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup uncooked hull-less barley
2 cups cubed peeled rutabaga (about 6 oz.)
2 cups chopped carrots (about 6 oz.)
2 cups quartered Brussels sprouts (about 4 oz.)
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Combine mushrooms and 2 cups of the stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high; remove from heat, and let stand 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high. Sprinkle beef with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook beef in hot oil, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from Dutch oven. Add onion, thyme, and garlic to Dutch oven, and cook, stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven, until onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining 6 cups stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add browned beef. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.
Pour mushroom mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, reserving liquid. Finely chop mushrooms.
Add barley, chopped mushrooms, reserved mushroom liquid, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to beef mixture. Increase heat to medium-high, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Add rutabaga and carrots, and simmer until barley, vegetables, and beef are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and pepper, and cook until Brussels sprouts are just tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle servings with parsley.
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