Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup
2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
8 cups low sodium or no salt beef stock
2.5 cups tepid water
1 cup fast cook barley
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp low sodium soy
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 bay leaf

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

 

Over medium-high heat, heat up a large stock pot.  Add beef to pan; cook until browned, stirring frequently.

Remove beef from pan. Spoon out any left fat juices.

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In same pan, heat olive oil.  Add garlic, let sweat for one minute.  Add in carrot, celery, onion.  Let sweat while scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Then add in 1/2 cup of water, and continue to stir scraping the bottom.  Cook until liquid almost evaporates.

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Add beef, remaining water, beef broth, herbs and bay leaf.

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Bring to a boil then add in tomato paste.  Add in soy. And add in mushrooms.

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Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.

 

In a separate sauce pan, bring salted water to a boil; add barley.  Partially cook barley. Drain. Add to the beef soup.

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Cover and simmer until barley is tender. 

Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Discard bay leaf.

Ready to serve!

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Pulled Pork

Finally, I have an easy recipe for pulled pork that anyone can handle!

Pulled Pork
4 lb pork butt or picnic cut (For this I used picnic cut)
4 cups water
2 cups orange juice
3 tsp salt

Cut the pork into large strips. About 3 inches long and 1 inch or more thick.

*Do not remove the fat!  This is essential in keeping the pork moist during this long cooking process.

Add pork strips to large stock pot, turning the heat on high.

pulled pork

Add in liquids and salt.

pulled pork

Bring to a rolling boil, then turn heat down to medium heat.

Allow to simmer for approx. 2 hours.

Do not touch the pot, let the meat cook without interruption.

After two hours, the juices/fats will have reduced dramatically.

pulled pork

Turn heat a touch higher to continue cooking the pork through; stirring the meat till browned all around.  The pieces will start to fall apart on their own as you stir.

This process can take up to forty -five minutes.  All the meat will be browned, and the fat pieces that are no longer breaking down further can be removed.  All the liquid will be gone.

Pulled Pork

Closer up.

Pulled Pork