Today’s recipe is all about celebrating fresh produce and pantry staples. Because, friends, that’s all you really need to make a great meal.
Recently, the good people from Farmbox Direct sent me a box of 100% organic fruits and vegetables. Farmbox Direct is a new subscription based produce delivery service. They are a farm to table, CSA style, USDA certified organic produce delivery service with a focus on locally harvested seasonal produce and all of their products can proudly show the USDA organic logo.
Because Farmbox Direct works with several different farms, you are able to customize what is in your box. So, enjoy a box of fresh fruits and veggies of what you want and each box comes with a recipe suggestion card for the week’s unique menu! Farmbox Direct is an easy way to fuel and maintain a healthy lifestyle, so be sure to check them out! I am a huge supporter of eating and cooking with seasonal, fresh and organic produce so I love what they are doing.
Once you have the fresh produce, you also need to make sure your pantry is stocked properly. What do you have in your pantry? I’m currently on a lentil, beans and barley kick. I could live off this stuff. For reals.
So, I took my vegetables, the celery, carrots and the beautiful purple potatoes from Farmbox Direct, my beans, lentils and barley and made this stew!
Oh and I can’t forget these biscuit croutons! Oh my gawd you guys. . I had leftover biscuits that I had made one morning and so I made some biscuit croutons.
So, grab a bowl and let’s warm up with some beef and barley stew. Who wants some?
It’s March 1st (I can’t believe it’s March?!) but it’s still cold here in Wisconsin, like cold and still snowing occasionally, until April. But I just might be able to survive another month with several bowls of this stew. Now, this one takes a while so make this one on a Saturday or Sunday and enjoy!
It’s so good!
Beef and Barley Stew with Biscuit Croutons
For the croutons:
- 3 or 4 already made biscuits cut into large-ish cubes
- 1/4 cup 1/2 stick salted butter, melted
- dried parsley flakes
For the stew:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound boneless beef chuck cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 oz pancetta or bacon cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 to 3 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 small leek well rinsed and chopped (tender white part only)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 sprigs fresh Italian parsley + more for garnish
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 zest of lemon
- 1 zest of orange
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 1/2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 potatoes cubed
- 2 cups cooked pearl barley
- 1 cup cooked beans and lentils or more if desired
For the biscuit croutons:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep a parchment lined baking sheet and toss the biscuit cubes on top, spreading on the baking sheet evenly. Drizzle with the melted butter and sprinkle on the dried parsley flakes and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
For the stew:
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the beef in batches on all sides, setting aside on a plate as the pieces are browned. (Don’t salt the meat yet, as you won’t obtain a proper sear). When all the beef is browned and has been removed, add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook just to render the fat, for about 4 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, leeks, onion, and the garlic. Cover the pot and sweat the vegetables over medium heat until the onions and leeks are tender, for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, tie the whole sprigs of parsley, rosemary and thyme and the lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves into a sachet wrapped in cheesecloth. Once the vegetables are sweated, pour in the wine and increase the heat to high to reduce the wine by half. Add in the sachet, the tomatoes, chicken stock, and allspice. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper.
- Return the browned beef to the pot, add the potatoes and cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender, but the sauce is still soupy, for about 1 to 2 hours. When the meat is tender, add the cooked barley, the cooked beans and lentils and simmer to blend the flavors, for about 15 minutes. Discard the sachet. Ladle the stew into bowls and top each serving with some more fresh parsley and the biscuit croutons. Enjoy!
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I am a huge supporter of fresh, seasonal and organic produce and wanted to help promote Farmbox Direct. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.