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Roasted Beef and Barley Risotto

January 14, 2010

I borrowed the inspiration for this meal from a can of Campbell’s Beef Barley Stew… except this isn’t stew, this is a family style meal.  Barley is one of those real popular whole grains that everyone says we should be eating more of.  Plus its used to make beer so it must be good!  In this dish the barley stands in as a sort of no fuss risotto since you don’t have to constantly stir like one does with arborio rice.  Once cooked barley quadruples in yield.

Roasted Beef and Barley.

–          2 lbs of boneless chuck roast or beef brisket with the fat cap left on

–          1 table-spoon Mustard seeds

–          1 Bay leaf

–          1 table-spoon Cumin seeds

–          2 table spoons Kosher Salt

–          1 table-spoon cracked black pepper

–          5 whole cloves

–          10 allspice berries

–          1 1/2 cup cups of barely

–          1 cup frozen cooked peas, thawed

–          1 cup Green beans

–          1 cup of frozen cooked Corn, thawed

–          1/2 cup of shaved or grated Parmesan, or romano

–          1 small or ½ a large Red onion, chopped

–          2 cloves Garlic, rough chopped

–          1 Red chili pepper chopped

–          1 cup of sliced carrots, about 1 inch thick on a bias

–         1 Portobello mushroom cap, chopped into 1” pieces

–          6  cups Beef stock

–          1 cup of red wine

–          3 tablespoons of Butter

–         olive oil as needed

The Beef:  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Place an oven safe pot (I used a large enamel coated cast iron pot with lid) on your range over medium high heat.  In a coffee grinder add all of your spices: mustard seed, bay leaf, cumin, salt, pepper, cloves and allspice.  Give them a rough grind.  Rub half of your spice mixture all over the beef.  Add a few glugs of olive oil to your heated pot and brown the beef on all sides – no more than about 8 minutes.  Remove beef and set aside to a plate.  Now add your onion, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, chili pepper and sauté about 5 minutes.  Add one cup of red wine and 1 cup of the beef stock.  Bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat.  Add the beef, fat side up, and any liquid from the plate.  Cover and cook in the 325 degree until tender – about 30 to 40 minutes per pound.

The Barely Risotto:  Start the barley about 40 minutes before your beef will be done.  In a sauce pan, bring your remaining 5 cups of beef stock to a boil, cover and turn off heat.  In a large sauté pan over medium high heat melt 1 tablespoon of butter.  Add your barley, stir to coat the barley in the melted butter, cooking about 5 minutes.  Add your ground spices.  Give it a stir, then add 4 cups of your warmed beef stock (1 cup should remain).  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer barley until all of the liquid is absorbed – around 30 – 35 minutes.  Now add your remaining cup of beef stock, your peas, corn, and green beans.   Cook about 5 minutes, but don’t dry out the liquid.  We are aiming for a nice oozy consistency.  You can turn off the heat and put a lid on to keep warm while you slice your roasted beef.  Just before serving, fold in and melt 2 tablespoons of butter to finish the dish.   

Once the beef is finished cooking, place the beef on a cutting board to rest about 5 minutes.  Place the pot on the range uncovered.  Bring the liquid contents of the pot to a boil, and reduce to about 1/2.   Slice the beef across the grain into 1/2 inch thick slices. 

To plate, spoon a heap of risotto off to a side, garnish with shaved parmesan.  Fan a few slices of beef on one edge of the risotto with a few spoonfuls of the reduced sauce (with the carrots, onions and garlic) on top.

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