Barley Anything Better

In the winter everyone is craving the coziest meals possible, this Beef and Barley soup is like being wrapped in the warm sweater under a heated blanket! The tender meat falls apart while the umami flavor of the broth elevates the dish to downright luscious. Topped with crispy roasted cauliflower and potatoes, its the BEST way to warm up on a cold day!


  • Beef Shank (bone in)
  • 1 Carrot-diced
  • 1 Yellow/white onion- diced
  • 1 stalk celery- diced
  • 1 cup barley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 6 cups chicken broth or 1 tablespoon Better than Chicken Bouillon + 1 teaspoon Better than Beef Bouillon + 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 heavy dash fish sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 lb baby potatoes (optional)
  • 1 head cauliflower (Optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon flour – for roux

How To:

  1. I used beef shanks center cut which came bone in. There is a bit of fat and silver skin to trim off to ensure that the meat can reduce properly. I want to brown the meat in large pieces, but not TOO large, so I cut my pieces in half.
  2. Once prepped, pat meat dry and season with salt and pepper
  3. In a large cast iron dutch oven heat on medium high heat with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Once hot add in your meat. Don’t be tempted to move it too quickly, as we want to get the beef browned (browned= flavor). Once meat is browned on both sides, remove from heat and put into a bowl.
  4. Add red wine to pan to deglaze the browned bits. Turn heat down to medium. Add in another tablespoon oil and then your celery, carrot, and onion. Hold off on the garlic until the onions start to just start to become tender, then add them in. Cooking for about 20 seconds. Then remove veggies and put into a separate bowl. Because we will be cooking the meat for 2+ hours, we don’t want our veggies overcooked.
  5. To the pan add the butter, then flour, stirring and letting the roux cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in 1 cup of broth and stir to incorporate roux. Then add back in the meat, and the remaining broth. Bring to a boil. You will want to skim off the “scum” several times early on after it has boiled. Add in bay leaf and thyme.
  6. Let the beef cook on a simmer until starts to be tender. At this point, add back in the barley, and cooked vegetables. Add in the fish sauce
  7. This is a good time to roast your potatoes and cauliflower. Coat lightly in oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for 20 to 30 minutes until crispy.
  8. Once barely is tender, make sure you break up the beef into small chunks.
  9. To serve ladle in your soup and then top with the roasted veggies!

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