Spread flour on a plate and season it with salt and pepper. Dredge beef pieces in flour until coated and shake off the excess. If your slow cooker has a stove top setting, set it to high and add the olive oil. (If your slow cooker does not have a stove top setting, you can brown the meat in a saute pan on the stove or just skip this step. However, browning the beef does enhance the flavor, so I think it is worth the trouble.) Brown the beef stew meat on all sides, working in batches if necessary so as not to overcrowd the slow cooker. When the beef is browned, remove the pieces to a clean plate. Add the onion, garlic to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the fat in the pot. Sauté the aromatics until they are softened, but not browned, lowering the heat if necessary. Season well with salt, pepper and dried thyme. When the aromatics are tender, return the beef (with any accumulated juices) to the slow cooker. Add the carrots and potatoes and stir to combine. Add the pearl barley, the bay leaves, the chicken broth and worcestershire. Cover and set the slow cooker on low for 5-7 hours. One hour before you wish the serve the stew, add the can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped. If the stew looks too thick at that time, you can add some of the juice from the tomatoes. Taste and adjust the seasonings before serving.
*You could use beef broth, but I find most commercial beef broth to be funny-tasting, especially in large amounts, which is why I prefer to use chicken broth here.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (1028g)|
|Recipe Makes: 8 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 935 (54%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 103.9g||139 %|
|Saturated Fat 30.7g||153 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 43.2g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 20.7g|
|Cholesterol 497.4mg||153 %|
|Sodium 598.1mg||21 %|
|Potassium 2466.2mg||65 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 60.3g||18 %|
|Dietary Fiber 10.5g||42 %|
|Sugars, other 49.8g|
|Protein 132.2g||189 %|
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Calories per serving: 1727
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