Sunny's Beef and Barley Stew with Crusty Pepper Bread

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds USDA choice beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup baby-cut carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch discs

1 parsnip, peeled and chopped

1 stalk celery, trimmed and chopped

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

2 cups dry red wine, such as shiraz

1 or 2 bay leaves

4 cups beef broth

1 cup pearled barley

Chopped parsley, for garnish

Crusty Pepper Bread, for serving

Crusty Pepper Bread:

Half a French baguette, cut diagonally into 1-inch slices

6 to 8 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Trace and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the size of the top of the Dutch oven to use as a lid. Set aside.
  3. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the butter and olive oil. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper and, when the pan is hot enough, add the beef. Be careful to cook the beef in batches if there isn't enough space. (Overcrowding will cause steaming, not searing.) Sear the cubes on each, and side then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. In the fat left from the searing, add the carrots, parsnip, celery, onions, thyme, paprika, a pinch of salt and a grind or 2 of pepper. Saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Raise the heat and pour in the wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat to a simmer, and then add the beef cubes back to the pot along with the bay leaves and beef broth. Cover with the prepared parchment paper and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
  4. At the 2 hour mark, remove the parchment, taste, and season with salt, if needed. Add the barley, and stir in 1 cup of water if the stew looks too dry. Cook, covered with the actual lid for this step, until the barley is cooked through and tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with Crusty Pepper Bread.

Crusty Pepper Bread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the edges of the bread just begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes.