If you are a regular reader of The Food of Love, you'll know that my rule of thumb for using a slow-cooker is that I mustn't have to dirty any other pots and pans. When I spied this recipe in the November issue of Food Network magazine, I was delighted to note that it met that criteria. This is one you can easily put together before you go to bed or before you leave for work in the morning. With an 8-hour cook on low, it's definitely a keeper.
1 1/4 lb boneless beef chuck (in one piece)
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
4 stalks celery, quartered
6 medium carrots, quartered
2 medium leeks, sliced (white and light green parts only; be sure to clean well!!!!)
1 sprig thyme
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 tbs low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Optional: horseradish for serving (Yes! just do it!)
Combine beef, barley, mushrooms, celery, carrots, leeks, thyme, beef broth, and soy sauce in a slow cooker. Add 1 cup water, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cover and cook on low UNDISTURBED for 8 hours. (Yes, I'm talking to you, the one who takes off the lid!)
Uncover, skim off any excess fat, and transfer the beef to a cutting board to cool slightly. Slice or shred the beef into bite-sized pieces. Thin the vegetable-barley mixture with some water, if desired. Divide among shallow bowls, top with the beef, and pass the horseradish.
O!M!G! this is one tasty bowl of fiber-laden goodness. While it comes in at 647 calories per serving, it has a whopping 12g of fiber and 40g of protein (29 g fat, 57g carb) and needs absolutely nothing else to make it a meal. While a loaf of wonderful bread could only make it better, fitting into my clothes is important to me, so I skipped that luxury. Try this one ASAP.