Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Soup of the Day... Beef and Barley Stew with Roasted Winter Vegetables


Soup or stew?
  • What is the difference between soup and stew? On the most basic level there is no absolute difference. Like ancient pottage, both soup and stew descend from economical, easy, healthy, forgiving, and locally sourced family feeds. Throughout time, these two interrelated menu items converge and diverge. Modern American cultural context does, however, separate soup from stew quite simply. The test is not in the ingredients or method, but which course it is served. Soup is starter/accompaniment; stew is main course.
  • Soup, in some contexts, variously became regarded as haute cuisine (consomme, vichyssoise), healthful restoratifs (18th century French Restaurants & Jewish grandmother chicken soup), and economical family fare (commercial vegetable beef, tomato). Soup can be served as first course (classic menu), lunch (paired with sandwich or salad) and dessert (fruit soup). It can be served hot (most) or cold (gazpacho, cucumber). Either way, the stock reigns supreme.

  • Stew is generally appreciated in larger chunks as main course, always served warm. Slow cooking renders tough cuts of meat delicious. The fact "stew" was a verb before it was a noun means much. Deliberate slow cooking with minimal moisture produces amazing results. Stew is generally regarded as community feed ( Brunswick Stew, Kentucky Burgoo & Booya) or family fare; not eligible for haute cuisine.
Today's recipe... Remember... Disclaimer: Some folks don't always follow updated USDA canning methods, they may live in another country where the standards are not the same, they may use heirloom methods passed down through the generations, they may choose other canning methods not recommended. Use this recipe at your own discretion, or adapt it to your own method. I am sharing these recipes EXACTLY as they were sent to me and take NO responsibility for them.

Beef and Barley Stew with 
Roasted Winter Vegetables­­
shared by Connie Bunfunny

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 1 hr 35 mins Roast: 35 mins 375°F

Ingredients

1/4 cup all ­purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1­inch pieces 

1/4 CUP olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

1 14-1/2 ounce can beef broth

2 cups WATER

1 cup dry red wine

4 medium red or yellow potatoes and/or sweet potatoes, cut into 1­inch chunks

4 medium carrots and/or parsnips, peeled and cut into 1­inch chunks

1/2 cup regular barley

Beef broth (optional)

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley (optional)

In a large bowl combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Add meat; toss to coat. In a Dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the meat; cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove meat from Dutch oven; set aside. Repeat with another 1 tablespoon of the oil and the REMAINING meat.

Add onion, garlic, and thyme to Dutch oven. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add the one can broth, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the WATER and wine. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a shallow ROASTING PAN combine potatoes and carrots and/or parsnips. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, for 35 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring once or twice.

Stir barley into beef mixture. Cook about 35 minutes more or until barley is tender. Stir in roasted vegetables. (To serve today, omit Steps 5 and 6 and continue as DIRECTED IN Step 7.)

Cool stew slightly and transfer to an airtight container. Cover and chill for up to 3 days. (Or transfer to FREEZER CONTAINERS. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months.)

To serve, if frozen, thaw mixture in refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Place thawed or chilled mixture in a Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Stir in additional beef broth, if necessary, to reach DESIRED consistency.

If DESIRED, stir in fresh parsley.

Tomorrow's Soup of the Day... Beef Soup with Country Vegetables

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