Serving
(click to enlarge)

Beef & Barley Soup
Czech

Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead: 
4-1/2 qt  
***
8 hrs  
Yes
This is a substantial and meaty soup. The recipe is a bit of a production - but it makes plenty, and can be started days before the party. Final assembly takes only 20 minutes before serving. As soon as it's done, I pour it into a slow cooker set to "keep warm" for buffet service.





4-1/2
2
ar
2/3
3
1/2
8
4
4
12
8
8
3
5
1/2
2
1/2
3
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#
#

c
c
c
oz
oz
oz
oz
oz
oz
T
c
t
t
t
T
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Beef (1)
Beef Bones,
Water
Barley
Beef Broth
Water
Onion
Carrots
Celery
Potatoes (2)
Mushrooms
Green Beans (opt)  
Lard or Butter (3)
Beef Broth
Thyme, dried
Salt
Pepper
Sour Cream
--Garnish
Parsley or Dill
Beef & Broth   (1 to 3 Days Before)   -   (6-1/2 hrs, 30 min work)
  1. Cut BEEF into large chunks, leaving fat on. In an 8 quart pot, place Beef and Beef Bones with water to cover. Bring to a rolling boil for 3 minutes or so, then pour it all out into the sink. Clean the pot and rinse all the scum off the Beef and Bones. Cool the beef and refrigerate.
  2. Place Bones back into the pot with plenty of Water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer about 4 hours.
  3. Return Beef to the pot, adding Water as needed. Bring back to a boil and simmer until Beef is tender, 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 hours depending on cut and size of pieces.
  4. Cool the Beef and strip off excess fat. You should have about 2 pounds. Refrigerate. It should be very cold before dicing.
  5. Strain the Broth, discarding the bones. Defat using your gravy separator. Boil it down a bit if too much - you need 8 cups. Put in jars, cool well and refrigerate until needed.
Soup Day Prep   (or afternoon before)   -   (55 min, 45 min work)
  1. Rinse BARLEY and place in a pot with 3 c of the Beef Broth and 1/2 cup Water. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly until barley is tender, 45 min to 1 hr.
  2. Meanwhile:   Chop ONION small.
  3. Dice CARROTS and CELERY about 3/8 inch. Peel POTATOES and dice about 5/8 inch. Mix all.
  4. Cut MUSHROOMS in half and slice about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Dice BEEF about 5/8 inch or smaller - or as desired.
  6. Tip and tail GREEN BEANS (if using). Cut into about 3/4 inch lengths. Par boil in boiling salted Water until just tender. Refresh under cold running water and set aside.
  7. In a large skillet, melt Lard. Stir in Onion and fry stirring until translucent. Stir in Carrot mix and simmer over low heat, stirring now and then, until Potatoes are tender. Stir in Mushrooms simmer another 4 minutes or so.
  8. At this point you can refrigerate everything for the next day if you wish (The Beef and Broth should already be in the fridge).
Assemble & Finish   -   (20 min)
  1. Chop Parsley or Dill for garnish.
  2. In a 5 quart pot, bring 5 c Beef Broth to a boil. Stir in Beef, Vegetable mix, Barley, Thyme, Salt, and Pepper. Bring back to a simmer for 5 minutes or so. Adjust with boiling water if too thick (it probably will be).
  3. Stir in Green Beans (if used).
  4. In a bowl, mix Sour Cream with some of the broth, then stir into the soup.
  5. Serve hot garnished with Parsley or Dill.
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   Weight is for fairly lean boneless beef. Shoulder is good, or Top Round. You don't need a tender cut for this.
  2. Potatoes:   White Rose work well here. Reds could be used but tend to disintegrate more. "Gold" potatoes should be avoided as they turn to mush when cooked a little long. For details see our Potatoes page.
  3. Lard:   Lard is the primary frying medium used by Czechs. The American Heart Association so villainized it Americans are afraid to use it, but it's not nearly as dangerous as the trans fats they insisted we use instead. It has a better health profile than butter, and is now increasingly used by top chefs. For details see our Lard page. If you still don't want to use it, butter will work, or even oil.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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