Monday Flues

The strangest thing happened between 10pm Sunday and 6pm Monday. I had the full blown flu-like symptoms and then it was gone! Poof! Just like that. I guess it must've been allergies or something. Anyway, while stewing in self-pity I tried to figure out what to cook for dinner to make myself feel better. I didn't want to make porridge because my porridge is terrible! Its either rice floating in water or starchy paste you can use to put up wallpaper with. Soup? No, I wanted something heartier so I decided on a beef and barley stew. I know, there are at least 3 people I know who will run away screaming at the sound of barley followed by stew. Somehow that sounded very lovely and healthy in my head. And what could be easier right? I love chucking everything in a dish and just leaving it on the stove. I couldn't find any brisket so I bought shin instead. Dang, I needed to sharpen my knives! The damn thing was so muscular and tough! I thought to myself, "Shit, not going to be able to eat this thing for at least four hours!" Two and a half hours later, voila! It was tender and bouncy like a baby's bottom. Patting myself on the back here but it really was quite good and just what I needed. The barley was a nice change to the usual spuds. Plus, it made me feel all nice and healthy eating it! Two days later, it tasted even better. Stew and curries are the same, they definitely taste better the following day.

If you want to be brave and try the recipe, here it is. Portioned for 2-3 people.

300g beef shin, biggish cubes
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into sizeable chunks
1/2 cup barley, rinsed
1 cup button mushroom, halved
1 can stout
1 onion, halved and quartered
3 cloves garlic
sprig thyme & 1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a casserole dish and stir-fry onions and garlic on medium heat until fragrant. Add beef and make sure its not sticking to the bottom of the dish. Pour in stout, herbs and 150ml water. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer for 1 hour.

Then add in carrots followed by barley 15 minutes later. I like my barley with some texture left. The barley will soak up most of the liquids leaving you a lovely rich stout gravy. Mmmm! About 10-15 minutes before the dish is done, throw in the mushrooms. Season liberally. I found this stew needed quite a bit of salt. And depending on your brand of stout, there may be a slight bittersweet after taste of stout left. I think next time I might add some tinned tomatoes to it to balance the bittersweet taste. Anyway, happy cooking!


  1. Ahhhh ok. So this is the stew you mentioned.
    (Oh man, it looks goooooood....)
    (Darn it, the photo is making me feel so hungry!)

  2. thanks for reminding the addition of barley, sounds yummy

  3. Haro J! I'm still full from last night!

    Babe_kl- ya, I still have 2 cups of barley. Maybe will make a bean and barley soup. Mmm, sounds like recipe for "wind"! ;-)

  4. And I'm trying to counter all the sake in my blood with coffee but I don't think it's working too well... Haha... :)
    (Am pretty sure my body will crash around 2pm)
    (Argh! So much work left to do.....)

  5. if i will cook it, yeah..gonna give the barley a miss hehe..

  6. this might sound weird but there's something else that i think will taste better the following day - bread. before the expiry date la, of course. ;D

    delicious stew, paps! i wonder if some red can replace the stout, to not have the bitterness. oh, the bowl looks like as if it's floating!

  7. I think you would be better off with water lah. Flush it all out! And then eat lots of spicy nasi lemak! And pop a berocca! Heh heh. Anyway hope you're feeling better!

    Joe- give it a go leh. High in fibre mah...

    HB! I feel like I haven't seen you in ages! Yea definitely can use red wine instead. Then you should def add in canned tomatoes too. Let me know how it goes! :-)

  8. glad you are well! wanna go running with jo and me? we've started training again.. just for fun :P (also.. vain :P)

  9. Indulge Cafe = . Give a try a new opening cafe at Kuchai Lama KL. They serving top selling Mille Crepe and plenty delicious food


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