Although this looks like a traditional beef stew recipe, it’s not made like one. While the beef—or lamb as in our recipe—braises in the oven, the carrots, mushrooms, and onions roast on a sheet pan alongside for a caramelized flavor. How’s that for a change?
We made this on a Sunday afternoon for a weeknight meal when we knew there wouldn’t be much time to prep dinner. But of course we had to taste-test the finished product. WOW, it was fantastic. The lamb (you could use stew beef instead) was super tender and the sauce was so silky and full of flavor.
Instead of one or the other, we used both carrots and parsnips. If you choose to include parsnips, make sure to remove the woody core before cooking them.
Oven Lamb and Barley Stew
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2–2.5 lbs. beef or lamb stew meat
- 2 strips bacon, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine or 50%-less-sodium beef broth
- 1 qt. (32 oz.) beef broth
- 1–2 Tbsp. fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. ground black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup regular barley, farro, or brown rice*
- 4 carrots or parsnips, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces, or 2 cups baby carrots
- 2 cups sliced cremini or button mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 croissants, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Arrange oven racks, placing one rack at the lowest level. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a 5- to 6-qt. Dutch oven heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high. Add half the beef and bacon; cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl. Add an additional 1 Tbsp. olive oil, remaining beef and bacon, and the sliced garlic to Dutch oven. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return all meat to Dutch oven. Stir in tomato paste; cook and stir 2 minutes.
- Carefully add wine, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Reserve 1/2 cup of the 50%-less-sodium beef broth. Add remaining broth to meat mixture. Stir in thyme and 1/2 tsp. each salt and ground black pepper. Bring to boiling. Cover and place pot on the lower oven rack; braise 1 hour.
- In a small bowl whisk together reserved 1/2 cup broth and the flour; stir into beef mixture. Stir in barley. Bake, covered, 35 minutes more or until barley is tender and stew is thickened.
- Meanwhile, in a shallow baking pan combine carrots, mushrooms, onion, remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and remaining 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper; toss to coat. Place on a separate oven rack; roast, uncovered, 45 minutes, stirring once.
- Stir vegetables and peas into stew; let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.
- OPTIONAL: For croutons: Line a shallow baking pan with foil. In a large bowl combine croissant chunks, melted butter, minced garlic, and parsley; toss to mix. Spread croissants evenly in prepared pan. Bake 5 minutes or until toasted; let cool. Serve croutons over stew.
*If you sub in brown rice, increase baking time in Step 3 to 45 minutes.
Recipe found in Better Homes & Gardens October 2020 issue