Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 13, 2017
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Filet mignon and barley stew with spinach

This preparation elevates stew to a fine-dining experience. Searing tender steak pieces and then removing them allows the fond of brown bits in the pan to infuse the dish and simmer into a long-cooking grain without overcooking the meat. Spinach adds a note of freshness and colour. Purple and black barley, or really any grain, would work well here.

1 lb. (500 g) beef tenderloin or

other tender steak

3 tbsp. (45 ml) whole-wheat

pastry flour

¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) salt

freshly cracked black pepper

2 tbsp. (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

(about 1½ c./375 ml)

1 medium carrot, chopped

3 tbsp. (45 ml) tomato paste

½ c. (125 ml) hulled barley,

soaked overnight

5 c. (1.25 L) beef stock

1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh thyme, chopped

4 c. (1 L) spinach, coarsely chopped

Cut the beef into 1-inch (2.5-cm), bite-size pieces. Combine the flour, salt and cracked pepper on a plate, and roll half of the beef in this seasoned flour.

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the unfloured beef and cook over medium-high heat until the beef is browned but still rare in the centre. Scrape the beef into a bowl, drain the fat back into the pan and cook the floured beef. Transfer to the bowl.

Quickly add the onion and carrot to the hot pan and scrape up the browned bits. As soon as the onion is golden, add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is a shade darker. Add the barley, stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.

When the barley is tender, add the beef to the pan and reheat. Stir in the spinach. Serve as soon as the spinach is just wilted and the beef is hot.

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