The Spicy Olive Slow Cooker Beef, Barley & Squash Stew

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.