Grass-Fed Beef Pot Roast, Take 2: Beef Barley Soup

I wrote earlier this week about my new found love of grass-fed beef pot roast.  As much as I enjoy a meal of roast beef, my favourite meal comes a day or two later, when I make soup out of the leftovers.  The broth that is leftover from a good pot roast is really concentrated; the braising liquid absorbs a lot of the flavours from the meat and savoury vegetables.  This is perfect gravy starter, and if I’d cook a roast for a crowd, gravy is how this broth would end up!  But when it’s just me and my partner, I strain the broth right away, and put it away in the fridge for later use.

P1130681 (1)“The Day After” Beef Barley Soup

There are fancier soup recipes out there on the internet, but I’ll share my method anyway.  As you can see by the photo, it sometimes ends up more like stew than like soup, but in my opinion, that’s no detriment!

Step one:  Taste your broth.  It’s probably quite concentrated, so add water until it tastes pleasant and ‘soup-like’.  I usually start by adding a half cup of water at a time, and tasting it after each addition.  You will probably end up with twice the amount of liquid that you started with, but trust your own taste buds for your ratio.  If it tastes a little flat, add a splash of balsamic vinegar, which rounds of the flavour in a nice way.

Step two:  Put your broth into a pot.  If you have about a litre of broth, add about 1/2 a cup of dried barley (or more if you don’t mind a thick stew-like soup), a small onion, diced, and a bay leaf.  Add some canned tomatoes, if you’ve got some.  If you don’t have any cooked veggie leftovers, add some chopped carrots and potatoes to your pot as well. (If you still have some leftover veggies or meat from your pot roast leftovers, you can add them near the end).    Simmer for about 40 minutes, or until barley is cooked.    Bonus points if you let it simmer on your wood stove – even though this may result in you forgetting to check it, which may result in it getting a bit over cooked and over thickened and looking like the photo attached to this post!  It will taste great anyway!

Put soup into pint sized jars while still hot, and you will have sealed jars ready to heat up in the office for lunch. The soup will stay good in the fridge for about a week.

Yours in food,

Alison

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