Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hearty Beef 'n Barley Soup (Pantry/Freezer Items)

Trust me...

You know how you lay out a plan for yourself for the next day?  You tell yourself this is what is going to happen, and progress from there?  Have you ever had it go southward in a heartbeat?  This my friends is how this recipe came about.

I had every, I say every intention of "reviewing" a killer beef 'n barley recipe from one of my numerous cookbooks.  As beef 'n barley happen to be one of my ultimate favorite soups, I figured, "hey, why not use a cookbook and review"?  I know right?

Well that being said, was my thoughts and intentions.  What transpired was; Something different...
What happened was that after perusing 4 I say, 4 cookbooks.  None of them even made a bleep on my radar much less rocked my world that I had to recreate immediately and review with you.  The end result was; that I took a smidgen ingredient and method from the various cookbooks, and along with good old fashioned sense made my own beef 'n barley soup.

Can I just say, "Holy, we need a bigger ladle Batman"!!  It was that good, no I'm serious!  It was thick and hearty!  Just like how I like my soups!  It was bursting with chunks of bite sized meat, and that oh so plump barley, along with the veggies?  Heaven, I'm in beef 'n barley heaven I say!!  But of course I had to kick it up a few notches by pairing the soup with homemade three cheese garlic bread.  I had to, I just had to I say!!

Ready for this very simple put together recipe?  Bring your appetites, here we go; 

Prep time:  15 minutes
Cook time:  1.5 hours
Yield:  6-8 servings

1-1/2 lbs stew beef, chopped into bite size portions
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large carrot, diced small
1 medium onion, diced (I used red)
1 pkg brown gravy - 0.87oz/24gr
1-14.5 oz can beef broth - 411gr
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, not drained - 411gr
1 can, 4 oz mushrooms, drained (can use 8 oz fresh sliced, I just used pantry items)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup barley
6 cups water (divided) - 4 + 2 cups
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 tsp salt

-Dice your veggies and set aside.

-Dice your stew beef into bite size pieces and set aside.

-Using your favorite pan, add the olive oil to the bottom, and heat till hot.  

-Meanwhile, as oil is warming, sprinkle the gravy mix evenly over the portion size beef stew pieces.

 Why it's blurry?  I HAVE NO IDEA!! *sigh* - okay, back to the recipe

-Add the portioned size beef pieces to the hot oil. Start to brown them.

-Once browned on one side and flipped over, add your diced onion.

Again blurry, I guess I really have to take photography lessons...

-It will be thick and sticky and the gravy will be sticking to the edge and bottom of your pan.  Aha, have no fear...
The Worcestershire sauce and beef broth will appear!

-Now let's add in the amazing Worcestershire sauce along with the beef broth and scrape all those succulent flavors back into the pan.  Now we add in the can of diced tomatoes.  Scrape, scrape all that goodness.  Let's add in our thyme, salt & pepper.  What the heck right??

 -Doesn't that look awesome?  I know!!  Now let's add in the diced celery and carrots, saute for just a couple of minutes.  Add in your reserved 4 cups water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down heat to low and add your barley along with your canned (or fresh mushrooms).  Let simmer, covered on a very low heat for about 45 minutes. 

-After 45 minutes, uncover, stir your amazing soup, making sure you reach the bottom.  Add in your remaining 2 cups water.  Taste for seasonings.  Does it need more salt, pepper, thyme?    Does it taste "just right"?  Cool!!

-Let it simmer, semi-covered for about another 45 minutes.  Stir and dish this amazing home comfort goodness in bowls and watch  your family just dig right in!!

Now, does this take a little time to make?  Yup, yup it does!!  My advice is to make it on a weekend (if your a working mom), and then you have leftovers for 1x during the week with more garlic bread or a sandwich!  Talk about an easy two meal dinner that is easy, family and budget friendly that your family will love!!!

Add caption

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi