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Meatball Stew with Barley

This is another one of those rib-sticking cold weather day meals. The Sous Chef first made this a long time ago using ground turkey. I never would have picked it because the original recipe calls for ground lamb. I'm not a huge fan of lamb and I usually don't have ground lamb just hanging around. I've adapted the flavoring since the original used mint, which goes well with lamb but not so much with turkey.

Meatball Stew with Barley (adapted from 365 Easy One Dish Meals)

3 1/4 c chicken broth
15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or whole)
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c pearl barley
1lb ground turkey
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 t dried oregano
1t  dried basil
1t garlic powder
1 egg

In a Dutch oven, combine, kidney beans, tomatoes, carrot, celery, garlic, and barley. Stir to mix. Heat until boiling.
I made them on the smaller side
Meanwhile prepare the meatballs. Mix turkey, cheese, oregano, basil, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper with your hands* Form into little meatballs. After the other ingredients are boiling away, gently add the meatballs one at a time. Lower to a simmer, cover, and cook 1 - 1 1/2 hours until barley is tender.  Taste and add additional salt/pepper as necessary.
Look at those beauties bubbling away

I see nothing wrong with using beef here either. I've always been tempted to try this in a slow cooker. I think you would have to cut back on the liquid, but I think it would work well. I really like this recipe because it really is not a lot of energy in the preparation. Let's face it you're basically dumping everything in the Dutch oven. The hardest part is making the meatballs.

*I usually wear gloves to do anything messy like this. I find if I don't that is usually when the phone rings or I need to touch something or I've forgotten an ingredient and it is such a pain. This way, I just whip off the gloves and I have clean hands to do whatever I need to.


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