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Miatake Barley Stew

I got the inspiration for this stew from one of my neighbors Greg. I had given him a bag of Miatake (Hen of the Woods) mushrooms I harvested and dried and he provided me with a taste of his effort. As has been my bent I’ve improvised a tad adding stuff I thought would be interesting. This batch makes about 6 pounds of finished stew but it’s easily freezable and it’s almost impossible to make a small amount. Enjoy!

You will need:

6 oz. Dried Miatake Mushrooms – alternatively you can use other types as long as they are dried and robust. Save the soaking liquid.
2 Cups Barley
6 cups Beef Stock – Greg used homemade however unsalted store bought will work.
1 medium onion – diced
2 or 3 small carrots – diced, try to equal the volume of the onion
3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 or 4 sprigs fresh marjoram
Beef Shortribs – I used about 4 pounds however the amount is up to you.
Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper – to taste

In a bowl large enough to hold all of the dried mushrooms with room for expansion add the mushrooms and warm water set aside to soak. In a stock pot large enough to hold all of the shortribs add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot turn heat to medium. When the oil starts to shimmer place the ribs fat side down sauté until well browned repeat with non-fat side. Once the ribs are browned place fat side up and add enough stock to fill pot about ⅔ way up the thickness of the ribs. Reduce heat to low and braise the ribs until the meat pulls away from the bone which should take 2 or 3 hours.

While the ribs are cooking dice the onion and carrots about ¼ in size. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking and cut into spoon size pieces, remember to reserve the soaking liquid. Once the ribs are tender remove from from liquid and let cool until you are able to handle. Cut beef into spoon size pieces. Pour cooking liquid through a strainer into a vessel that allows you to de-fat the liquid.

Add olive oil to the stock pot, heat until it shimmers then sauté until lightly browned. Combine the mushroom soaking liquid (careful not to let any dirt drain out) and the beef stock to equal at least 4 cups. Add the chopped mushrooms and beef and all of the barley. Continue to cook until barley is soft (you might need to add more liquid as the stew cooks.)

Remember this freezes well so don’t worry about the total amount of the stew produced.l

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