TASTY BEEF VEGETABLE AND BARLEY SOUP

23 Mar

I know, I know! Didn’t I just finish telling you it was hot down there?
Well, yes it is, but sometimes hot food actually makes you feel cooler. I mean come on, we’re talking about a country where people eat Jalapeno, Serrano or Habenero Chilies with almost every meal.  Besides after eating seafood almost constantly for the last month, (Yeah, yeah, poor us) the idea of having some rich, meaty, thick beef soup just sounded to good to pass up!

Now, doesn't that look good?

1 lb. Beef bones, preferably with lots of meat and marrow.

6 cups of water.

 

Beef bones down here can be anything from pieces of rib to legs cut into rounds, and are very cheap, the pound I bought cost $1.25. (Just to give you an idea as to the difference in costs down here, except for the barley, and Montreal Steak Spice which I brought with me from Canada, this whole meal cost less than $3.00)

 

I guess you could call the beef cattle down here, “Free Range, Organic” as the cows roam loose in the desert until it’s round up time, surviving as fortune dictates. The beef is very low in fat, a bit tough if you over cook it and probably the most “Beef” tasting meat I’ve ever had.

 

Now since most of you won’t be able to get hold of beef bones that have as much flavour as the ones down here, some enhancement might be needed. The best product I’ve found for this is called “Better Than Bouillon”, by Superior Touch. It’s available in chicken, beef and vegetable and you only need a couple of teaspoons to give your soups or stews a really full, rich flavour.

Best bouillon I've ever found!

Hopefully, you’ll be able to find really tasty bones and won’t need to add anything else. You know, it also never hurts to cultivate a good relationship with your local butcher!

In a large, heavy pot or Dutch Oven, bring the bones and water to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook until the meat starts to fall off the bones, 2 to 3 hours. Keep the lid on.Remove from heat, strain meat and bones out of stock. Pull meat off bones, return to pot. If there is marrow, remove from the bones and return to pot as well. Discard the bones and any gristle.

 
Add to stock:

1 carrot cut into rounds

1 potato cut into cubes

3 stocks of celery heart, including leaves, chopped

1 small onion, slivered

1 1/2 tablespoons Montreal Steak Spice

1 chayote, cubed

1/4 cup pearl barley

4-6 more cups water.

A Chayote is a type of small squash and should be available in the Vegetable section of any large grocery store. If you can’t find one don’t worry, a small zucchini can be substituted. These small squash add a delicate flavour to soups and stews as well as acting as a thickener. The chayote can also be eaten raw in salads

A Chayote and some of the other ingredients.

Add everything but the barley to your pot, put the lid on, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and let it cook for another couple of hours. If the soup starts to get too thick add more water. Add salt only if you think it needs some. 45 minutes before serving, add barley.

Serve with bread.If you’re really looking to impress someone, look up the Hearty Garlic and Herb Beer Bread recipe on Guilty Kitchen.com, it goes very well indeed with this soup!

Divertirse!

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