The Spicy Olive’s Slow Cooker Beef, Barley and Squash Stew
3 tablespoons The Spicy Olive’s Organic Garlic olive oil, divided
1 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 3 pieces
sea salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 thyme sprigs
4 cups beef broth, divided
1/2 pound small potatoes, halved
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup pearl barley
If your slow cooker has a stove top safe insert then heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, otherwise do in a medium skillet and transfer to slow cooker later. Season beef with salt and pepper and brown pieces in olive oil until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add remaining olive oil and garlic and saute until fragrant. Place insert into slow cooker or transfer to slow cooker and add thyme and 2 cups beef broth and scrap down sides and bottom of pan to release browned bits. Transfer this broth to slow cooker. Add potatoes, squash and barley to slow cooker with 2 cups water and remaining 2 cups of beef broth. Cover and cook on high until meat is very tender and liquid mostly absorbed (about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.) Using 2 forks shred beef. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.
** Would also be delicious with carrots or celery or other vegetables you might like to add.