Beef and Barley Soup


Beef and Barley Soup
A simple and flavourful slow cooked beef and barley with melt in your mouth beef; pure comfort food in a bowl!

Beef and Barley Soup

  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds Ontario Corn Fed stewing beef such as chuck, round, brisket, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup pot barley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cover the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of just boiled water and let sit until tender, about 15 minutes, before draining, reserving the water, and chopping the mushrooms.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a larges sauce pan over medium-high heat before setting aside.
  3. Add the beef and sear until lightly golden brown on all sides before setting aside.
  4. Add the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, thyme, paprika and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and deglaze the pan by scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon while the broth simmers..
  7. Add the broth, barley, bacon, beef, reserved chopped mushrooms, reserved mushroom water, bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce and fish sauce and either bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beef is fall apart in your mouth tender, about 2-3 hours, OR transfer to a preheated 350F/180C oven and roast, covered, until the beef is tender, about 2-3 hours, OR transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or on high for 3-5 hours.
  8. Remove the bay leaves, season with alt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Option: Replace the 4 strips of bacon with 1 tablespoon oil to cook the vegetables in.
Option: Toss the beef in 1/4 cup flour (or rice flour) or sprinkle in 1/4 cup flour into the pan along with the garlic to thicken the broth.
Option: If you have some parmesan rinds, throw them into the soup while it simmers, removing them before serving.
Option: Replace the fish sauce with soy sauce or red miso paste or simply omit it.
Option: Add apple and/or pitted dried prunes to add a touch of sweetness!
Option: If you are in a hurry, you can take it off the heat and enjoy it as soon as the barley is cooked at about 30 minutes.
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