"If you like spicy food, increase the crushed red pepper. If you don't like things hot, just cut back. This is a great dish to come home to on a work night." --Amy Burroughs, Milwaukie, OR
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 (1 1/2-pound) eye-of-round steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices carrot
2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 thyme sprig
How to Make It
Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef evenly on all sides with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Add beef and onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown beef on all sides. Remove beef mixture from pan; place in an electric slow cooker.
Add carrot and mushrooms to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add carrot mixture, broth, barley, basil, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, and thyme sprig to slow cooker; stir well to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW; cook 6 hours. Discard thyme.
I'm not much of a slow cooker fan. Instead I used a 7 qt. cast iron pot with lid. I followed the saute steps, placing the beef and onion in a bowl once cooked. When the tomatoes and thyme were added, I added the beef and onions. This could be done on the stove top on low heat. Instead, I baked it covered in the oven for 2 hours at 350 degrees F.