Olive oil cooking spray
3/4 lb beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 T olive oil
2 cups chopped leek (about 4 medium)
2 cups chopped carrot
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 bay leaves
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef; cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Heat oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Add leek, carrot and garlic. Saute 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
Return beef to pan. Add broth, thyme, pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Add barley; cook another 30 to 45 minutes or until beef and barley are tender. Discard bay leaves. Add water or more broth if too thick.