Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Porcini/Cremini Mushroom Beef Barley Stew - Crock Pot

I think a slow cooker recipe should taste as good as when you cook the food on the stove top.  As much as I love the convenience of the slow cooker, I have not found many recipes that I can say - tasted as good as cooking on the stove - except for this one.  Take a few extra steps at the beginning and let the slow cooker do the rest of the work.  Saute the meat first and deglaze the pan with a nice wine, makes all the difference.

  • 2 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small bag baby carrots
  • 1 10 oz. pkg. cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (about 7 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth (or homemade stock)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (or homemade stock )
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
  • 2/3 cup pearl barley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Parsley (for garnish)
Dry the beef pieces with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown beef in two batches and add to slow cooker.
Browning the meat in two batches leaves you the caramelized fond.

Add more tsp. of oil into the pan and saute the onions, garlic and carrots with a little salt.  Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the wine, scraping up the brown bits.  Simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute.  Pour it all into the slow cooker.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, mushrooms, beef and chicken broth, thyme and barley and cover.  Cook 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.  Add fresh parsley.

When you serve this the day that it's made, it has more of a soup consistency.  The next day (which is always better) it thickens more like a stew.  Serve with crusty bread and butter. 

~From Dorothy


  1. Yep, slow cookers are a great convenience but few things are terrific, and better than "regular" cooking. This is a winner, though!

  2. I have a hard time being happy with the crock pot too, but this sounds good:@)

  3. Perfect comfort food for these cold winter evenings! Looks delicious!

  4. I am honored!! The mushrooms definitely make it even better - touche`!

  5. Patti: This sounds SO good!
    And you have given me an idea for a soup.



  6. Happy New Year Patti!!

    I love beef stew! This sounds comforting and delicious for these cold NY days. Blessings for a beautiful year. Catherine xo

  7. What a beautiful stew! Perfect for those cold and chilly days (even down here in the South!); I love the marriage of the barley and shrooms especially! Happy New Year!!!!!

  8. wow, looks very nice.
    so want to eat immediately

  9. I saw this earlier in the week........all I needed was the beef.....it's what's for dinner here tonight! :)

    I have one question.....seems like a lot of liquid, but I am assuming it's for the barley & dried mushrooms? I reserved the tomato liquid .....will add if it seems like I need to later.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. I haven't made a beef barley soup in about a year! Wow. What a great reminder to make this delicious classic. I love the 2 mushroom choices, I bet they add so much flavor to this comforting winter soup.
    I host Whole Food Wednesday at Beyond The Peel, it would be so lovely if you stopped by to share. Have a great up coming week.

  11. This looks soooo delicious! I love porcinin mushrooms, although I don't cook with them nearly enough. I would love to make this stew! Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!

  12. I just tweeted this soup as one of my favorites from Sunday Night Soup Night! Thanks for linking up and hope to see you again soon :)

  13. You have the best recipes over here! Thank you for linking them up in my Happy Friday Mushroom event! I'm giving your post a pin on Pinterest!Have a nice weekend, susie


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