My mom gave me this recipe and we love it here, especially my two little boys. And it's chuck full of vegetables! I thought I'd share it here on my blog before I forget to. Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised!
1 lb. beef stew meat
3 cans beef broth
2 tsp. garlic powder
4 peeled potatoes
2 stalks of celery
1 medium onion
1 box quick cooking barley
Put stew meat in slow cooker - you can also take the meat directly from the freezer to slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Pour beef broth into slow cooker, cover and cook on high for about 5-6 hours (or until your house starts smelling yummy!). Take the lid off a couple times to break apart the meat and give it a good stir.
Next, cut up carrots, dice up the onion, celery and cut up potatoes. Heat water in large pot to boiling. Add vegetables and cook until almost tender, because you will need to cook the barley with the veggies, and then the veggies might get too soft.
I cover the pot and set the burner on low till veggies are almost tender. Now add about 1 to 1/4 cup quick-cooking barley to the pot of vegetables. Cover again and cook till barley puffs up and is tender.
Turn the slow cooker on "low" and taste the beef broth in the slow-cooker. If it has a bland taste, add some beef flavoring. I like to use beef soup base. Add about 1 Tbsp. at at time, till you get a good solid beef taste. Now drain your veggies and barley and add it to the stew meat and broth in the slow cooker. Stir gently and taste. Let simmer together in the slow cooker for maybe 15-20 minutes or so. Enjoy!