For a few weeks I had a free preview of a new channel which featured lots of Jamie Oliver programs so I went down a Jamie Oliver rabbit hole for a few nights. Our weather turned nasty over Christmas with crazy wind and rain storms and no one who wasn't having to venture out for work wanted to go outside. Including the dog with his new haircut.
And the boy was having trouble getting out of his new glow-in-the-dark Jurassic World pajamas - as in he wants to wear them 24-7 and I can see a battle brewing next week when school starts back up again.
The thought of a rich beefy stew like pot burbling away on the stove was very inticing especially as this year I did not have a fridge full of leftover turkey etc as we were treated to Christmas dinner at our in-laws. We did make a dash out into the frozen sleet to pick up barley, briefly run the dog and post a return on a disappointing Christmas toy which had broken.
|a small strawberry smelling pillow made in a jiffy for the boy|
Beef and Barley Stew (adapted from Kate and Will's wedding pie from Jamie Oliver)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 knob butter
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1 heaped tsp dried thyme
3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
900 g stewing beef, cut into 2.5 cm dice
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 bottles ale
2 tbsp flour
1.2 litres stock, I used a mix of beef and chicken (I used more beer than the original recipe so less stock)
140 g pearl barley
3 tsp English mustard (I used dijon as it was all I had)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
100 g Cheddar cheese
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, lidded dutch oven or casserole dish over high heat and add herbs, meat, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree, beer, stock and flour and stir everything comes together and starts to bubble. Simmer over low heat with the lid on for about 1 hour, then add the barley, put the lid on and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the meat shreds easily and the gravy is thick. Spoon away any oil from the top and add the mustard, worcestershire sauce and cheese. Taste and season as required.
I served this alongside a big green salad and roasted carrots. Delicious.