1 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces   1 cup beef broth

1 Tbsp olive oil                                                       2 bay leaves

1 tsp salt                                                                 2 cups sliced carrots

3/4 tsp dried thyme                                              1 cup chopped onion

1/4 tsp pepper                                                       1 cup sliced celery

1/3 cup uncooked medium pearl barley           2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour                                      2 cups sliced baby Portobello mushrooms

1/3 cup cold water                                                 1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar                                     1 cup water

Minced fresh parsley                                            1 cup dry red wine

In a Dutch oven, cook beef in oil until meat is no longer pink. Add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stewed tomatoes, water, wine, broth, bay leaves, salt, thyme and pepper.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add barley; cover and simmer 45 minutes longer or until barley and meat are tender.

Combine flour and cold water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Discard bay leaves. Stir in balsamic vinegar just before serving. Sprinkle each serving with parsley if desired.

Yields 6 servings

(Recipe retrieved from Allrecipes.com)

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