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View Full Version : Newly Discovered: Barley Beef Soup



Seanholio
01-17-2007, 12:42 PM
I have impressed my SWMBO by making Barley Beef Soup. Even better, I enjoyed it myself. It's easy to make, and the leftovers get better with age. This is my first time posting a recipe, so bear with me.

1/2 lb of chuck steak, cubed to 1/2"
2 sticks of celery, sliced
2 Large Carrots, sliced
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 cup of barley (hulled or pearled)
6 cups of beef stock

In a strainer, wash the barley to ensure there is no dirt, mill grist, or other foreign material going into your soup.

In a large pot, combine the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for two hours, add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer another two hours (or as long as you can restrain yourself from eating). The beef will cook completely, so there is no need to brown the meat.

I'm considering using green onions next time, as the yellow seemed to have completely disintegrated before the soup was ready. I've also seen people add pickles. Any other suggested ingredients for future batches?

FriscoSoxFan
01-17-2007, 01:08 PM
I'm considering using green onions next time, as the yellow seemed to have completely disintegrated before the soup was ready.

Put that idea away and never let it rear its ugly head again. The yellow onions "disintegrating" is what gave you the flavor in the broth, friend...

Adding the green onions might add something special, but do it very late in the game, about 5 minutes before it is done, or you'll risk them getting too squishy.

boboakalfb
01-17-2007, 09:05 PM
The beef will cook completely, so there is no need to brown the meat.


Have you tried the recipe with browning the meat? Doing so doesn't just ensure the meat is cooked. Browning will probably provide more depth in flavor to your recipe. I find that it is the little things that greatly improve the outcome.

Jim
01-17-2007, 09:15 PM
Sounds wonderful!

A cup of savoy cabbage adds a tremendous boost of flavor to almost any soup,boiling is bad,simmer is good.

I agree with Bob- brown your meat and root vegatables and you will have them at your mercy! (or doing the dishes)

zachster
01-17-2007, 11:08 PM
Adding the green onions might add something special, but do it very late in the game, about 5 minutes before it is done, or you'll risk them getting too squishy.

I agree -- the yellow onions add flavor to the broth. With green onions, I would just slice and toss them on top of each bowl full of soup for added flavor.

_JP_
01-18-2007, 02:02 PM
Browning the meat and then deglazing the pan with some beef stock would definitely be the way to go. To make this simple recipe amazing, use a home made beef stock, better than anything coming out of a can!

ladyintheroom
01-18-2007, 02:36 PM
Oh yummy! One of my favorites and I always put about 18 quarts up for my mom to get her through the cold Nebraska winters.
If you really want to get the most flavor try this. Start with a whole brisket, trim the fat and cook it in the oven 400ish for 2-3 hours. This will make one tough piece of meat but that is what you want here. Take the brisket out and make gravy with the drippings and beef stock. When the meat has cooled dice it into the desired size pieces. Add the beef back to the pot and add the barley plus carrot, onion, and celery. Simmer for about 3 hours. Add vegetables if desired. The simmering will make the beef incredibly tender and it will stay in lovely little chunks. If you want the broth thicker stir in a pinch or two of instant mashed potatos for a really hearty soup.
Jean

JBHoren
01-18-2007, 03:40 PM
I've come to prefer hulled barley, over pearled barley. Hulled barley retains more of the outer layers, which add to the taste and help ensure that they'll keep coming back for more, regularly.

You might also try experimenting with adding 1/4C of rye-berries or whole-wheat-berries (and a corresponding amount of water).

I'm jealous, not living in a wintry environment, where mom's make hot chocolate for kids returning home from school, and all the rest. Good for you, going the homemade soup route!

Depilator
01-18-2007, 03:50 PM
Usually make barley and mushroom...this version sounds great

Phog Allen
01-18-2007, 04:53 PM
Holy smokes! I thought I was one of the only people around who really enjoys barley soup. Most of my family won't touch it. Too much Irish and Scots blood in me I guess. I eat this stuff just cooked up with water as a breakfast porridge some times. Did I mention I like grain cereals?LOL Barley, Cream o' Wheat, Malt-o-Meal, steel cut oats, corn meal mush, grits. Oh yeah, a real grain head. Besides, barely is the building block of all things beer so it has to be good.

Regards, Todd

doctorsimon
01-18-2007, 04:59 PM
I was going to make a chollent, but might make this instead. Sounds good. I'd probably brown and deglaze first for some excellent caramelisation.

Seanholio
01-22-2007, 03:27 PM
Thanks for all the pointers, guys. I really want to ensure the rich meaty flavor for my next batch. I've never attempted a deglaze before, but the results returned by google make the process out to be simple enough.

I agree that the hulled barley retains greater texture and flavor than the pearled barley. The leftovers were at least as good as the first serving.

I will report back with my second batch results to let everyone know how it went.

ouch
01-22-2007, 05:44 PM
Good recipe. In addition to browning the meat, try making a roux by adding flour to the rendered beef fat, then cook the veggies in that for a bit before adding the stock. I also think you're cooking the veggies too long- you don't want them to turn to mush. An hour is more than enough.

fuerein
01-23-2007, 04:28 AM
Well, I have Beef Barley for lunch today and tomarrow... My recipe, go to Whole Foods, in the soup isle is a plastic bag with two servings worth of the soup... Heat before going to work & place in my thermally insulated "Mr. Bento" lunch container.

Actually I would like to make homemade beef barley, just didn't have the time and I needed something for lunch when I was at the store yesterday. Maybe I'll make it sometime soon. Had beef barley for the first time several years back at the college cafe, homemade would almost certainly be better, though theirs wasn't too bad.

Seanholio
01-23-2007, 11:03 AM
Good recipe. In addition to browning the meat, try making a roux by adding flour to the rendered beef fat, then cook the veggies in that for a bit before adding the stock. I also think you're cooking the veggies too long- you don't want them to turn to mush. An hour is more than enough.

You have a point, there. The veggies were a bit soft when I served it.

urr-lord
01-25-2007, 06:07 AM
i usually add whole canned mushrooms and just to be different (don't tell the wife) add diced beef heart, floured and browned or don't brown it and add it straight to the soup as you cook.it gives a richer flavor than regular beef.

JBHoren
01-25-2007, 06:39 AM
i usually add whole canned mushrooms and just to be different (don't tell the wife) add diced beef heart, floured and browned or don't brown it and add it straight to the soup as you cook.it gives a richer flavor than regular beef.

Ahhh... beef heart! When I lived in Jerusalem, I'd go to the shuk (open-air market) early on a Friday morning, and have one of the many butchers cut-up a whole beef heart into 1" cubes. Once again, 12 hours of long slow cooking in a crockpot, with barley, beans, mushrooms, onions, carrots, and (of course) lotsa garlic, produced a delicious stew, which we called cholent.

Thanks for reminding me. As Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon sang: "Ya gotta have heart!"

ouch
01-25-2007, 07:34 AM
Never tried beef heart, but years back I used to raise Discus, and they're a very finicky breed of fish. Just about the only thing they would devour was beef heart. Whenever I would speak to my butcher, he would look at me as if I were some psycho killer.:001_tt1:

boboakalfb
01-25-2007, 09:02 AM
Never tried beef heart, but years back I used to raise Discus, and they're a very finicky breed of fish. Just about the only thing they would devour was beef heart. Whenever I would speak to my butcher, he would look at me as if I were some psycho killer.:001_tt1:

Tell him you enjoy it with a nice Chianti...then proceed to make sounds like in Silence of the Lambs.

netsurfr
01-25-2007, 09:19 AM
Mmmmm.... Yummy
Gotta try this!
Steve

crackstar
01-26-2007, 04:22 PM
yeah, cholent for Shabbos, my late grandmother made it so well, it was delicious. My mother-in-law, who's of Moroccan Sephardic descent, makes the same thing, which the Sephardim call Skhina.

Jeff