I was inspired to make this stew after viewing
Coleen's recipe for Crockpot Beef-Barley-Tomato Soup
at her blog...
For this recipe, I used venison in place of the beef stew meat, and added a few other vegetables to it as well. I also cooked the barley separately, rather than in the crock-pot. The end results, this was a hearty venison barley stew, which only took a little over 3 hours to cook it in a 6-quart size crock-pot. You will definitely need a large crock-pot when making this soup!
Crock-Pot Venison-Barley Stew
1-1/2 lbs. venison, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
vegetable oil, to cook the venison and vegetables
1 large onion chopped (about 1-cup)
2 stalks celery, sliced (about 1/2-inch slices)
2-1/2 cups chopped carrots (1/2 to 3/4-inch in size)
3 medium size potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
32 ounces beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 heaping teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup Quaker Quick Pearled Barley
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed (run under warm water)
1 (6.75 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained well
In a large non-stick stockpot, heat a bit of vegetable oil in the pot. Lightly brown the venison in the pot.
Once the venison is browned, remove the meat from the pot, and set it aside. Cover the meat so it doesn't dry out.
Add the onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes to the stockpot. (You may need to add a bit more vegetable oil to the pot.) Lightly saute' the vegetables for about 5 minutes.
In a 6-quart crock-pot or slow-cooker, add the browned venison, cooked vegetables, beef broth, tomato sauce, bouillon granules, and the pepper. Cover, and cook on high for 3 hours.
After the 3 hours of cooking time, remove 2 cups of the broth, and add it to a 3-quart saucepan. At this point, add the thawed peas and well drained sliced mushrooms to the crock-pot, and cover the crockpot.
To the 3-quart saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, then add the 2/3 cup of barley, Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer the barley for 10 minutes. Be sure to stir the barley frequently, so it doesn't stick to the pan. The liquid/broth will be reduced and absorb the barley.
Now add the cooked barley into the crock-pot and stir.
Ladle the stew into the bowls and serve.