I thought I was being clever by calling this “stoup” because it wasn’t quite a stew but seemed more than a soup. Now that I go to write this post and google the word, I find that there are 237,000 results. And even worse than that, the very first one is from Rachel Ray. blech. I feel kind of dirty now and may be taking a shower with a scouring pad as soon as this post is finished.
Anyway, on to what I made. Even though it has warmed up from the extreme cold of the first half of the month, it is still winter, so I decided to make a hearty stew. I’ve had bag of barley sitting in my cupboard for a while now and thought this would be a perfect time to use it.
I started with beef for stew from the store and then coated it with some seasoned flour. I thought this flour would eventually help to thicken the stew, but when I started to brown the beef, there was lots o smoke and the flour started to burn. So maybe I had too much flour or the pot was too hot. That’s something to tweak for next time.
After all the beef was browned, I removed it from the pot and added some water to deglaze the bottom of the pot. (I used water since I didn’t have any homemade stock and I’ve joined Michael Ruhlman’s crusade against the canned stuff) Then I added carrots, celery, onions, and a can of diced tomatoes. Since I had half a bag of fingerling potatoes left over, I decided to cut those up and add them too.
I brought this to a boil and let it simmer for and hour and fifteen minutes. Then I added the barley and brought it back to a simmer until the barley was cooked (about 45 minutes). Like I mentioned before, this thickened up some (the barley probably helped a little) but not quite to what I am used to for stew. Maybe next time I won’t flour the beef and make a roux instead. The stew was very tasty though.
Now off to find that scouring pad.