Beef Barley/Farro Soup recipe
I was at a little cafe yesterday and had the most delectable beef farro soup (in the style of barley). It was not greasy,but had small shreds of beef throughout and was definitely homemade (carrot pces and some celery). The broth was very flavourful and was almost like a runny gracy or thicker jus.
Any beef based soups I have made before, have been either too fatty, too bland or just not that great.
My grandmother used to make hers with brisket (thus minimal fat) which she cooked with onions and carrots which were discarded. The meat was drained, cooled, shredded and the resulting stock (which she cooled in the pantry and defatted, even though there was never very much) used to cook the barley and whatever veg she wanted, usually carrots and celery, before the meat was added back in. It sounds good but it was pretty bland.
I'm guessing that you could brown your meat and mirepoix/veg and add a bit of tomato paste and some red wine and bay leaves/aromatics and cook your beef in that fashion, if you wanted a more "gravy" style of flavour. Dust the meat and initial veg with flour before browning if you want a thickened stock.
I adapted a mushroom barley recipe last year - would love to give credit to where it came from originally but have no clue
BEEF MUSHROOM BARLEY SOUP
2 or 3 short ribs or stew beef
1/3 cup dried mushrooms like porcini
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1-2 ribs of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, washed, trimmed and coarsely cut
1/2 portobello or otherr mushrooms, washed, trimmed and coarsely cut
1/2 cup pearled barley
6 cups beef broth or stock
3 tablespoons dry sherry
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon wine vinegar.
1. Cover dried mushrooms with 1 cup hot water, and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Finely chop mushrooms.
2. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed deep pot. Dust the short ribs in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and brown well on all sides. Remove from pot.
3. Sauté onions and carrots over medium heat until onions begin to color. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds.
4. Add fresh mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes, until they begin to release liquid.
5. Raise heat and add barley; sauté until it begins to color.
6. Add broth, sherry and return the beef to the pot.
7. Strain mushroom-soaking liquid and add to pot along with reconstituted mushrooms. 8. Season with pepper and taste for salt, and simmer for about 40 minutes, until barley is tender.
9. Remove the short ribs/beef cubes and shred or cut in small pieces and return to pot.
10. Stir in vinegar; adjust seasonings and serve.