Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Cook's Illustrated


Serves 6 to 8. From Cover and Bake.

The barley, cooked over a long period of time, adds body as well as a nutty flavor to the soup. This soup is often seasoned with dill; simply replace the parsley with 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill.

TIME: 7 to 8 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high

3pounds beef chuck roast , trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see illustrations below)
Salt and ground black pepper
2tablespoons vegetable oil
2medium onions , minced
2medium carrots , peeled and chopped fine
1/2cup dry red wine
2(14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1teaspoon dried thyme
4cups low-sodium beef broth
4cups low-sodium chicken broth
2/3cup pearl barley
1/4cup minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. 1. Dry the beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the meat to the skillet and cook, without stirring, until well browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Stir the meat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until completely browned, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Transfer it to a slow cooker. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and heat 2 more teaspoons oil until just smoking. Brown the remaining beef and transfer it to the slow cooker.

  2. 2. Return the skillet to medium heat and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping the browned bits off the skillet bottom, and cook until almost dry, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and the thyme; bring to a boil. Pour into the slow cooker.

  3. 3. Stir the beef and chicken broths and the barley into the slow cooker. Cover and cook, on either low or high, until the beef is tender, 7 to 8 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high. Before serving, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Cutting Stew Meat For stew meat pieces that are cut from the right part of the animal and regularly shaped, we suggest buying a boneless roast and cutting the meat yourself. A 3-pound roast will yield about 2 1/2 pounds of beef, perfect for searing in two batches.

1. Pull apart the roast at its major seams (delineated by lines of fat and silver skin). Use a knife as necessary.

2. With a knife, trim off excess fat and silver skin.

3. Cut the meat into cubes or chunks as directed in specific recipes.

America's Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen is a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside of Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated magazines and is the workday destination for more than three dozen test cooks, editors, and cookware specialists. Our mission is to test recipes until we understand how and why they work and arrive at the best version. We also test kitchen equipment and supermarket ingredients in search of brands that offer the best value and performance. You can watch us work by tuning in to America’s Test Kitchen (www.americastestkitchen.com) on public television.

No comments: