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Beef Barley Pumpkin Stew

This Dutch oven beef barley pumpkin stew has tender beef and barley with perfectly-cooked vegetables, ready to spoon into bowls and devour. It's my perfect kind of meal: mix all the ingredients together, cover, and forget in the oven for 7 hours. 
Course Main Dish, Stew
Cuisine American
Keyword barley stew, beef stew, easy stew, one-pot recipe, oven baked stew, pumpkin puree, vegetable stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Servings 8 servings
Author Beth Allingham of www.amealinmind.com

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck stew meat or brisket, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 3 medium-large carrots diced
  • 2 medium to large Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 14- oz can tomatoes
  • 1 15- oz can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pink sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 cups beef broth or stock
  • 2 sprigs each of fresh thyme and rosemary for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F.
  • Chop all the ingredients and layer in your Dutch oven. I added mine in this order: 
  • Potatoes, beef, carrots, barley, onions, celery, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, herbs and seasonings. Then pour the broth and Worcestershire over all. 
  • Cover the Dutch oven tightly with foil. 
  • Place the lid on top of the foil covering. 
  • Roast in the oven for 7 hours. 
  • Stir, check the meat for done-ness and adjust the seasonings and amount of broth. 
  • Serve in bowls, and garnish with fresh thyme and/or rosemary if desired.

Notes

I used rosemary and thyme as garnishes because I had them available fresh. Parsley would also be delicious as a garnish. 
About your cut of beef: Brisket has lots of fatty connections but tenderizes really well. The problem is that you can’t really skim any fat off because the barley absorbs so much liquid. If you use grass-fed beef, as we do, we understand that the fats contain higher omega-3 fatty acids than if we used corn-fed beef, so we are less concerned about the fat content of this dish. Plus those fats make the stew very satisfying. However, if you prefer less fat in general, stew beef/chuck is likely your better choice of cut.