I took a break from my blogs last week since we were still finding our way between boxes. Even though we are not unpacked and settled, I am enjoying a return to being in the kitchen for reasons other than unpacking dishes! Our area is presently experiencing a history making flood with rain still coming down, so I thought of this hearty stew my mother used to make. I still have the recipe written in her firm, flowing handwriting on a sheet of lined notepaper although I no longer need to pull it out to go by. It was a fine meal to have on a cool rainy early June evening. And there are plenty of leftovers for a weekend lunch.
Nana’s Barley Burger Stew
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 8 cups tomato juice
- 2 cups water added as needed as stew cooks and thickens
- 1 cup medium pearl barley
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, optional
In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add onion, carrots, and celery, stirring as vegetables wilt. Stir in the tomato juice, barley, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add about 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes or until barley is tender, adding water if mixture becomes too thick. Serve in bowls along with crusty French bread.