A hearty slow cooker dinner idea. A slow cooker is nice to come home to and the ideal appliance for cooking less tender but flavourful cuts of meat. 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.
1 lb. Ontario stewing beef cubes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup pot or pearl barley, rinsed
1 tbsp each packed brown sugar, tomato paste and red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp each salt and dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Step 1: Trim any excess fat from beef, cut any large pieces smaller.
Step 2: Heat 1 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; cook beef until browned, in 2 batches if necessary. Transfer to slow cooker.
Step 3: Add remaining oil to pan; cook onions and carrots a few minutes until lightly softened. Stir in broth, barley, brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, thyme and pepper; bring to simmer. Pour into slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours (or on high for 4-5 hours) until beef and barley are tender.
Step 4: Turn off slow cooker. Stir in peas and let stand for 10 minutes to heat peas.