If there’s another meal out there that I would rather have on a cold night, it doesn’t come to mind. This stew is thick and wholesome and will leave you feeling warmed and cozy. It’s peasant food at its base with potatoes, turnips, and carrots, but I would happily serve this to the POTUS if he happened to be at my table in January.

When serving, Don’t skimp on the Greek yogurt and parsley. They make the flavors really come alive.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks (about 2 medium leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 medium red potatoes, ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups chopped turnips (1 large turnip)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream, garnish
  • Fresh parsley, garnish

Method

  1. Cube beef into ½-inch pieces. Season beef cubes with a Pinch of salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons oil to a large, heavy pot (at least 5 quarts–a large dutch oven works well) over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and brown for 8 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Brown the beef in two batches so as not to crowd the pan.
  2. Remove beef from pan and add chopped leeks and carrots. Cook until leeks are softened, about 4 minutes. Use a heavy spoon to scrap up any bits as the leeks cook. Turn the heat down to medium if the leeks start to burn.
  3. Add the potatoes, turnips, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and a big Pinch of black pepper to the pot. Finally, add beef back in. Stir well to combine and then add beef stock and water. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Once simmering, add barley and turn heat down to medium low. Simmer, partially covered, until barley is cooked and soft, about 40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so to avoid burning anything on the bottom of the pan. If ever the stew looks dry, feel free to add more liquid, but the 8 cups of total liquid should be enough.
  5. Before serving, remove bay leaves and taste the stew for salt and pepper. It will probably need at least a Pinch of salt.
  6. Serve the stew garnished with a dollop of Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and freshly chopped parsley.
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