Beef and Barley Slow Cooker Stew

There is absolutely nothing I love more than crock pot meals, I always feel like someone else has made dinner for me. And as an added bonus, it fills the house with the most comforting of smells.This stew is super filling and packed with good for you ingredients! Full of vitamin c, immune boosting garlic and iron and calcium from the rosemary, it's a must eat for Brian and I as we head into flu season. 

This recipe is a mash up of my moms stew recipe and a barley soup that I used to make. The result was fabulous, rich and filling but also light and flavorful, this stew is perfect for a weeknight meal or a busy weekend. The key to success with this recipe was the use of fresh herbs. Don't substitute the fresh herbs with their dried counterparts, you will definitely be able to tell the difference! 

Beef and Barley Stew

1 Tbs Olive oil

1 lb stew meat, in bite sized cubes 

1 tsp chili powder

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves removed and minced 

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced  

1 15oz can crushed tomatoes (no salt added) 

1 box beef broth (low sodium) 

1/2 pound baby red or yellow potatoes, cut in half 

1 12oz can mushrooms OR 1 cup fresh mushrooms

3 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces 

1  white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed 

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips 

3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces 

1/2 cup quick cooking barley 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add meat cubes and brown slightly. Add chili powder, tomatoes and fresh herbs.Cook until meat mixture begins to bubble. Add meat mixture to crock pot. Add beef broth and stir.

Add all of the remaining ingredients to crock pot. Stir. Set crock pot on low and cook for 8 hours or on high for 5.