Thicken Beef Stew By Swapping Out The Potatoes For Barley

Beef stew with carrots and barley
Beef stew with carrots and barley - Michelle McGlinn/ Tasting Table

Rich, hearty beef stew is a foolproof remedy to stave off the cold. Savory bits of meat swimming in an equally appetizing broth alongside carrots and peas is exactly what the doctor ordered. Potatoes often accompany the ingredients, but you should swap them out for barley instead.

In her cinnamon apple cider beef stew dish, recipe developer Michelle McGlinn prefers the fiber-rich grain's effect on stew in comparison to potatoes. Not only does it give it a much more interesting texture, but the starch in the barley helps to thicken the broth. Nutty with a tender, fluffy feel, barley is a nourishing supplement to the classic stew.

McGlinn adds the barley right after deglazing the pot to soften the grains while allowing them to absorb the savory and sweet spices of the stew. For barley that's on the chewier side, add it to the pot about an hour before the stew is done.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

Add Barley To These Beef Stew Recipes

Beef stew and barley in plate
Beef stew and barley in plate - Michelle McGlinn/ Tasting Table

With barley originating from the region now known as the Middle East and North Africa, it's only fair that it goes into a beef stew filled with Mediterranean flavors. Moroccan beef tagine contains chickpeas, but barley is an equally nutty ingredient that works as an alternative. While cinnamon brings a warm spice to the stew, apricots deliver a honeyed, tartness to cut through the rich flavors. Complete with harissa for a smoky heat and crunchy slivered almonds, this beef stew is perfect for the colder months.

For a truly autumnal feel, add cubes of pumpkin to the beef stew. The earthy squash and umami-rich beef are tempered by a dash of Worcestershire sauce, lifting up the stew with its acidity. Sprinkle in crushed cloves, ground allspice, and chili powder for a fiery, earthy spice to warm you up. However you make your beef stew, always enjoy it with a side of crunchy French bread and a sweet, tangy fall harvest caramelized mushroom salad.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.