Beef Barley Soup RecipeFor this beef barley soup recipe we braise beef chuck until it's fork tender, then cook the barley and vegetables, and finally, combine the ingredients and season to finish the soup.
You could also make this soup using beef short ribs as in this recipe for beef noodle soup. What's important, though, is to cook the barley separately. The beef needs to braise for quite a while, and the barley would become too soggy if cooked for that long.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
- 1½ lbs beef chuck
- 1 large onion, peeled
- 2 large celery stalks
- 3 medium carrots, peeled
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2-3 dried bay leaves
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 2 qts beef stock
- ½ cup red wine (optional)
- 1 cup uncooked barley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Chop the onion, and slice the celery into roughly the same size pieces as the onion. Cut the carrots lengthwise then slice them into little half-moons — again, about the same size as the onion and celery pieces.
- Slice the meat against the grain into strips about 1½ inches wide. Generously season with Kosher salt.
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy, oven-proof soup pot, brown the beef on all sides over high heat in a small amount of oil. Remove beef from pot and set aside.
- Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic and sauté in the resulting beef juices until slightly browned.
- Add the wine (or about ½ cup of beef stock if you're not using wine) and use a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula to loosen all the flavory bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tomatoes, bay leaves and the browned beef. Add the stock. If there's not enough liquid to cover the meat, add water until the meat is just submerged.
- Bring to a boil, then cover with a tightly fitting lid and transfer to the oven.
- Let the beef braise untouched for 4 hours. Remove pot from oven and carefully remove the beef from the braising liquid.
- Gently pull the meat into smallish pieces. Set aside.
NOTE: The recipe can be prepared up to this point and then finished the next day. Just cool and refrigerate the meat and the cooking liquid. The next day, just bring the cooking liquid to a simmer and complete the final step below.
- Add the barley to the braising liquid and simmer over a medium heat for about an hour or until it's tender but not too soggy. Turn off heat. Add the beef and stir until the meat is heated through. Season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper. Serve hot.