I am making soup today, its blah outside and I have just read a friends journal that makes me very sad. So its a perfect day for comfort food.
Potage of Beef & Barley
1 lb Stewing Beef or Braising Beef
4 cups White Mushrooms, sliced
1 cp Sweet White Onions, sliced long
Bovril or other liquid beef broth concentrate (I make my own and freeze)
1/2 cup Pearl Barley
I throw some sliced carrots in
Place just enough water in the pot to cover the barley and put it up to boil. It is very important to watch this carefully and stir frequently, as barley has a tendency to burn. When the barley turns glutinous (has a sticky coating on it and is gluey ) then it is done. It always appears that it is NEVER going to achieve that glutinous state, and you will be positive that you have done something wrong, but all of a sudden, it does…so watch your pot!! Drain off any excess water..but there should not be much. That is why you only put in enough water to cover the barley, as you don’t want too much excess fluid, lest the gluten be washed away. Set it aside.
Cube your beef into bite-sized bits and lightly sauté. You may sauté either just in butter/oil/PAM, or you may add a dash of your favourite seasoning if you choose.
You want to sear the outside of the meat to seal in the juices, but not cook it all the way through. Dump that into the barley.
Sauté mushrooms until semi-cooked, but not crisp or really brown. Add to the pot.
Sauté onions until transparent but not brown. Add that to the pot.
Place pot on very LOW heat. Add enough Bovril or other liquid beef bouillon to make the mixture turn brown. Simmer, stirring very frequently so the barley doesn’t burn. You may have to add a touch of water (or wine) during this process. When the meat is cooked all the way through, serve to hungry audience along with chunks of buttered bread.
My Note: You can also substitute Vension chunks for the beef. I also throw this in the crock pot to burble for 6 or so hours on low.