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Short Rib and Barley Stew

Serves: Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 4 cups top-quality beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 parsnips, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus coarsely chopped parsley for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes


Procedures:

I have always enjoyed barley soup and my husband loves short ribs, so I blended those two favorites in this richly flavored stew. With the long, gentle cooking, your kitchen will smell wonderful. You can thin the stew with more stock for a more soup-like consistency if you prefer. The few hours this dish requires are very much worth it.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, then coat them in the flour, patting to remove the excess. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. Working in batches, brown the ribs well on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Set the ribs aside on a plate.


  3. Add the wine to the pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until reduced by about half. Stir frequently to scrape up cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the ribs (with any juices) to the pot with 2 cups of the broth, the water, and onion. Cover the pot and braise in the oven for 1 hour.


  4. Add the carrots, celery, parsnips, and garlic to the pot and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the barley, parsley, thyme, and remaining 2 cups broth. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour over medium-low heat (the liquid should not boil actively; decrease the heat to low if needed). Stir in the tomatoes with their liquid and a good pinch of salt. Simmer, partly covered, for 1 hour longer, until the meat is very tender.


  5. Use a slotted spoon to lift the ribs from the stew. When cool enough to handle, separate the meat from the bone, gristle, and fat. Shred the meat and return it to the stew.


  6. Taste the stew for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper to taste. Reheat gently over medium-low heat. Ladle the stew into shallow soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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