Don't get me started... You will be here all week!!! This is a special two for one meal.
First, buy an extra big inexpensive chuck roast for dinner when it's on sale. Fix it as a roast for the family in the following way: (By the way, this is my mother-in-law's secret recipe that she told only to me before she died so don't tell anyone!)
Put the roast in a big oven proof pan with a well fitting cover (I use one of my corning ware ones with a glass lid.) Place a teaspoon of beef base or a boullion cube next to the roast. Beef base can be found at a restaurant supply or Sams). Sprinkle with garlic powder -not garlic salt- and onion powder.Do not add water.
Cover. Put in a 215º oven or half way between 200º and 225º. If thawed cook for 4 hrs. If frozen cook for 6 hrs. When cooked remove about
1/3 of the meat and all of the liquid in the pan to a storage container (and serve the remainder to your family for dinner.) You should have about
1 to 2 cups of concentrated beef stock plus some coagulated liquids that you can stir up with a fork. Put this in the fridge to let the fat harden. Remove and discard the cold fat. Dice the cold beef, removing any fat.
On soup day chop a big onion, two stalks of celery and two carrots into small chunks. Put some olive oil (2 TBS.) in a big pot and throw in the veggies. If you like more onion or carrot, use more. Be sure to dice the celery leaves very tiny. They are full of flavor. Stir those over medium-high heat till they get limpy. Add a generous 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. pepper and a pinch of nutmeg at the end of the veggie cooking. Pour in your beef concentrate plus beef chunks and stir. Add about
a quart of very hot tap water. Bring to a rolling boil and then add 1/2 cup of barley, stirring well. Lower heat to below simmer and cover. Allow to bubble gently for at least 45 minutes for the barley to cook. In the last 15 minutes you can add 1/4 head of thin sliced cabbage (in place of noodles). This really increases the fiber, adds vitamin C and adds almost no calories. If you want to add more veggies at this point pour in a can of mixed veggies(including the liquid) or 1/2 a bag of frozen. Be sure to simmer until the barley is cooked. You may correct the flavor with another boullion cube or beef base if you like or let the fam salt it themselves. If the soup is too thick you can add more water.
You can use a pinch of rosemary or thyme if you like but go easy because although these are good spices they can make soup taste like perfume if overused. If you like more barley you can add more but remember it triples in size so 1/2 cup raw will make 1 and 1/2 cups cooked. For variety you can add worcestershire sauce, canned mushrooms, okra and/or spinach. You can also substitute wild rice for the barley.
Instead of making gravy from the liquids that come from my covered roasts I save them in a container in the freezer. I add liquid from canned veggies and some of my left over potatoes or noodles to the container as well. I like to pull it from the freezer the night before the soup day to save time. For me, the secret to good tasting soup is real meat stock plus some commercial meat base. This is how restaurants make stock in a hurry and it has always worked for my family, too.
If you have a pressure cooker I can give you recipes for lamb stew, chicken spatzel soup and a bunch of other favorites from my grandma. Hope this helps.
~ Jeannie "People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in
, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Post Edited (Jeannie143) : 10/24/2006 10:10:54 PM (GMT-6)