I’m definitely not a chicken and fish ONLY kind of girl. I try to keep red meat to a minimum for minor blood pressure reasons (yes…me), but sometimes I just crave a big ole hamburger or some roast beef. We grew up eating a lot of roast beef, and that was one of the meals Mom cooked most before she began to forget. Using it in beef soup is most definitely my favorite way to eat it.
This recipe is adapted from my brother’s amazing Beef Barley Vegetable Soup recipe that he made at Christmas time. He added a package of frozen vegetables and some stewed tomatoes to his, but I basically just loaded mine up with extra carrots, celery, onion, and added a package of sliced Bella mushrooms. Both versions are really good. And I have to admit that the first try at re-creating his soup was a fail as I put in over twice the amount of barley. Do you know that barley puffs up? A lot! 🙁
Red meat is also good for people who are low in iron. Whenever I donate blood, I make a conscious choice to eat a few servings of red meat the week prior to giving. That and a few big spinach salads, and I’m usually good to give. This Beef Barley Vegetable Soup recipe is a good one to keep on hand for this purpose, and it gets even better tasting after a day or so in the refrigerator.
Remember that when making a roast in your slow cooker, be sure to let it cook until it’s fork tender. If it seems tough, you haven’t cooked it long enough. This is providing that you are using a roast with a moderate amount of fat running through it. The fat creates the tenderness. After it is cooked, remove all visible fat from the roast and shred. It should literally fall apart in your hands (after letting it cool a bit).
Using my slow cooker, I cooked this roast on high for five hours. If you are gone all day, you might consider cooking it on low for 8 – 10 hours. You can also cook the roast the day before and just refrigerate the meat and the broth (separately). Take it out the next day and finish it on the stove top. You can also skim some of the fat off the top if you refrigerate the broth.
- 2.5 pound chuck roast
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 cups beef broth
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 6 large carrots chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 5 stalks celery chopped
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 8 oz. Bella mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leafs
Set large sauce pan on medium high heat. Season roast with salt and pepper. Add olive oil and after a couple of minutes, when the pan is hot, add roast and brown on both sides.
Place browned roast in crockpot, along with about 8 cups beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Set to cook on high for about 5 hours or low for 8-10 hours. You will know when it's done because it should be so tender that it falls apart.
When done, remove roast from slow cooker and let cool slightly. Shred meat with two forks, removing all visible fat, and set aside.
Use a slotted spoon to strain broth as it sits in the slow cooker, attempting to pull any loose fat out of the broth. Add barley, bay leaf, and beef, and cook for one hour, on low.
Chop up vegetables. Prepare large sauce pan with olive oil and turn to medium high heat. Sauté vegetables and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until slightly soft. Add garlic, mushrooms, and tomato paste during the last minute.
Add vegetables to slow cooker and cook another hour on low.