February 09, 2007

Someone's in the kitchen with Diiinaaaahhh!

It's been colder than a witch's you-know-what in a brass bra. Highs in the upper 20's and single digit nights. Perfect soup weather.

I started a pot of Beef and Barley soup last night and let it cook all night and all day today in the crock pot. Basically, I tossed a bunch of things into it that we had on hand, and it came out good enough to fool people that I might know what I'm doing in the kitchen.

Beef & Barley Soup

Ingredients
1 lb stew beef
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can V-8 juice
4 cups beef stock
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp rubbed sage
2/3 cup barley

Brown the stew beef in a hot skillet with the olive oil. When done, toss it into the crock pot and set the heat for high.
Add the tomatoes (with juice), the V-8 and the beef stock.
Stir in the worchestershire, vinegar, paprika and sage.
Add the garlic, carrots and corn, then let it simmer for an hour or so before turning the heat down to low.

Let it cook for several hours (overnight in my case) and then add the barley (about 5am as I was getting ready for work). Either leave it on low to cook for the rest of the day, or turn the heat up to high and cook for another hour or until the barley is done.

If I had had them, I would have added onions and celery, but I don't know that those would have been an improvement. The vinegar and tomatoes give a nice tang, balanced by the brown sugar. The broth was rich and savory, and by dinner time tonight the meat was falling-apart tender.

We've got quite a stretch of cold weather in the forecast. I think I'll keep the soup pot out.

Posted by: Ted at 05:26 PM | category: Recipes
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