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Beef and Barley Stew with Biscuit Croutons

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 45 mins
Total Time3 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main
Servings: 6 to 8
Author: Hip Foodie Mom


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!