Monday, October 26, 2009

Grandma Pat's Beef Barley Stew

I'm not sure if any of you other Mamas are having difficulties introducing solids to your wee one(s). Eddie wouldn't eat anything but breastmilk until he was ten months old, and then I tried being all crunchy and making him baby food out of our food, but he wouldn't touch it. He *loved* OTHER babies' homemade baby food (and storebought baby food, and cookies, and crackers and cheese...all that stuff we're not supposed to give him right away, of course!) but not mine.

But then I made that Tortilla Soup, and gave him a taste (PRE-hot sauce), and he LOVED it. I froze a bunch of it in an ice cube tray, and it's still a hit. I finally broke down and BOUGHT jarred baby food (sob :P) and he, of course, loved that too. The best laid plans of Mamas and wives, I tell you.

Also, he doesn't like the same thing twice in a row. If we had mango-peach-oatmeal for breakfast one morning, we'd BETTER have something different the following morning, or ELSE.

All this to say that I was so sad that I couldn't make food for my baby like I'd hoped and that I was afraid I was doomed to feed him pre-made food until he finally grew enough teeth to eat steak and green beans with us. UNTIL. We went to visit DH's parents and Grandma made her Beef Barley Stew, and I thought it was delicious and gave Eddie a bite, and then another, and the next thing I knew, he'd eaten half my bowl! :P Then he ate it for lunch the next day, and dinner, AND lunch the following day! So I had to get the recipe, and now that I've made it again, I'm sharing it here!

Beef Barley Stew

1/2 lb lean round steak, chopped in cubes
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4" slices
1 c chopped yellow onion
1/2 c green bell peppers, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb fresh button mushrooms, quartered
3/4 c dry pearl barley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp dry sweet basil
1 bay leaf
5 c beef broth

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low, 9-10 hours.

NOTE: I forgot to ask DH to unpack my slow cooker, and since I don't know where it is myself, I decided to brown the meat with the onions and garlic and throw it, along with everything else, in a heavy stew pot, and I've had it simmering for about half an hour now. I'll let it go until the meat is cooked through, and the carrots are tender. Then we'll store it for lunches and Eddie's meals! (DH isn't a big stew guy. :P)

Update: The stew simmered for about three hours before I was happy with the thickness and the taste.