Beef and Mushroom Stew with Barley
1 pound beef meat for stewing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and small diced
1 large carrot, cleaned and small diced
2 pieces of celery, small diced
1 small rutabaga, small diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or sliced
6 cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
¼ cup red wine
1 quart beef stock
½ cup pearl barley
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
⅓ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
Remove the meat from the package, pat to dry and place on a small plate. Season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or medium-sized soup pot over medium-heat. Sear the meat on all sides until darkly caramelized and browned all over. Be patient so the meat develops a deeply caramelized crust for better flavor.
Add in onion, carrot, celery, and rutabaga, season with salt and pepper, and saute for four to five minutes, until onion is translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute for one minute. Add tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, and wine to deglaze the pan, scraping off any browned bits on the pan. Simmer for about four minutes before adding the stock, rosemary, and thyme. Bring the soup up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about one hour with a lid partially on, stir occasionally. Add barley and cook for 30 minutes to an hour more, check that the meat is tender and barley is cooked through before taking off the heat.
Remove the pot from the heat and carefully remove any herb stems. Stir in sour cream and chopped parsley, season to taste, and serve.