This is the perfect dish for cold winter nights – tender pieces of beef stewed with carrots, mushrooms and thyme, with pearl barley to soak up all the delicious gravy, make this a really hearty, filling dish. It’s just right with the warming blackberry and cherry flavours of the Bolyki "Bull's Blood" Bikaver.
- 400g chuck steak
- Oil for frying
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- A large handful of white mushrooms
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 50ml brandy
- 2 pints beef stock
- 200g pearl barley
- Salt and black pepper
- Cut the chuck steak into bite-sized pieces and fry in a little oil until just browned, and then remove to a plate. Chop the onion and carrot and crush the garlic, and fry them all together with the dried thyme in the lovely juices left behind by the beef.
- Once the onion is nicely softened, add the chopped mushrooms and fry for a few minutes, and then return the beef to the pan. Turn the heat up, pour in the brandy and fry for a few more minutes, so that the beef takes on a bit of a glaze.
- Pour in just enough beef stock to almost cover the other ingredients, then put the lid on and turn the heat down. Leave to bubble for an hour.
- Add the pearl barley to the pan with the rest of the beef stock and simmer until the pearl barley is cooked through (it’ll be soft but still retain a certain bite). If you feel like there isn’t enough liquid to cook the barley, you can just add a little more boiling water.
- Once the pearl barley is cooked, take the stew off the heat, put the lid on, and leave it for about ten minutes – this is just to rest the meat, so it will be tender and falling apart. Serve in warmed bowls.