Oh no… I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into once this glorious dish was done. The smell filled my house and the last hour of cooking before it was done was something close to torture. It was amazing.
The barley serves as a natural thickener for this stew. It turns the stew into this beefy, flavorful, and wonderful thing. You’ll be going back for seconds and can have leftovers for lunch.
The best part is that it’s worth the prep. If you don’t like chopping vegetables, this one will be one that’s worth it in the end.
I chose to put this on high for 4 to 5 hours because I didn’t decide until lunchtime to make this but if you have more time you could choose the longer option. The beef was still tender and melted in my mouth.
2 Cups of Potatoes, diced into small cubes (I used red potatoes but you can use anything you have on hand.)
4 Tablespoons (1/4 Cup) of Butter
4 Tablespoons (1/4 Cup) of Flour
1/2 Cup of Red or Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 Cup of Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup of Frozen Peas
5 Cups of Chicken Broth
1 Cup of Heavy Cream
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika
2 Cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Begin by melting the butter in a large pot or dutch oven. Once the butter has melted, put in the pot the onion and bell peppers. Allow these to start to get soft. About 5-6 minutes.
Add the garlic and let it become fragrant. About 1 minute.
Sprinkle in the flour. Be sure to stir constantly and combine the flour well. About 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Add in the potato and cook until fork-tender. About 10 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes. Make sure to keep the potatoes boiling or the soup will not thicken.
Next, bring the heat down to medium-low and add the frozen peas and ham. Cook for 3-5 minutes until heated through.
Then, turn the heat down to very low (I took my pot off the heat and waited about 2 minutes) and pour in the heavy cream. Stir. In small handfuls, add the cheddar cheese. Stir well in between adding cheese to avoid clumping. Then keeping the heat low, return the pot to the heat.