Pam's Beef, Onion and Barley Soup
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- 12 to 16 oz ribeye steak (mine was bone-in)
- lg onion, sliced thinly from pole to pole
- small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced in rounds
- tsp crushed celery seed
- c. dry sherry
- oz water
- 1 1/2 to 2
- tbsp better than bouillion beef base
- small garlic clove
- 10 oz can beef consomme
- cup pearl barley (not quick cooking)
- tsp maggi seasoning or all purpose seasoning like kitchen bouquet
- tsp worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
1Prepare steak by partially freezing to make cutting easier. With a sharp knife, trim away the bone (If not boneless) and as much fat as possible, put aside any fat, bone or gristle. Slice steak into 1/2 inch thick strips, then cut the strips into about 1/2 inch dice. In a large saucepan (3 or more Qt) render the fat and bone and gristle at medium. (I got about 1 Tbsp. of fat. And it took about 10 to 15 minutes. You do not want the bits to burn or it will ruin your oil.) Remove solid bits and discard. If you do not have at least a Tbsp. of fat, add or substitute vegetable oil.
2Prepare onion, carrot, and crush the celery seed (I use a mortar and pestle). Crush the garlic clove lightly with the side of your knife and remove paper peeling. Stick a wooden toothpick through the garlic, both to hold it together and to make it easier to find and remove.
3Heat oil and fry the diced meat in small batches on medium high to high just until brown, stirring and adjusting heat to keep from burning. (Does not have to be completely cooked) Season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Remove browned meat with slotted spoon and set aside in a medium bowl. Leave oil in saucepan.
4Add onion, carrot and celery seed to hot oil. Cook over medium to medium low heat, stirring occasionally until onions are very soft and light to medium brown. This took me 30 minutes or more.
5Deglaze the pot with the sherry (or substitute with beef broth with a tsp. of lemon juice or vinegar added) and scrape any brown bits off the bottom to help flavor. Simmer uncovered until sherry or broth is almost gone. Toss in the toothpick with garlic clove and add water and bouillon base. Continue simmering on low, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. (You may substitute a 48 oz. carton of low sodium beef broth or use your own homemade beef broth.) Remove the garlic and discard after 30 min.
6Add the consommé and barley, Maggi and Worcestershire, stir well, cover and simmer 25 to 35 minutes until barley is tender. Stir about every 5 to 10 minutes so barley will not clump. When barley is tender, add the browned beef and simmer 5 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
7If you wish, defat the soup by chilling and any fat will set on top of the liquid. Simply lift off or use a spoon to remove.
Reheat to serve.
Suggestion for serving: Serve with Toasted Wheat or Rye bread or rolls topped with Shredded Gruyere Cheese and broiled until cheese melts and /or browns slightly.