Monday, August 1, 2011

Beef Stock & Beef Barley Soup

So this week I have finally begun reading the Cookbook - Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon. (Below is a link to this book over at

I have made my way through the beginning few chapters, and have skimmed through some of the recipes, very interesting cookbook, with a lot of great information about real foods and real nutrition. I love learning about ways to get my weight under control and recently have been having troubles with anemia that I am still trying to resolve. I had read so many other bloggers talking about this book I had to give it a read, and I am glad I did, it is very interesting, and I can't wait to read more.

One thing the book talks about is the benefit of a good broth, earlier this summer I began making my own beef stock straight from the bones rather than prepared broth. My whole family loves soup, even in this hot weather. Now, I haven't quite reached the level of quality of broth that can be made by following the process In Nourishing Traditions which requires quite a bit of time, and is something I will probably tackle in the winter, here is how I made some wonderful Beef Broth this week and then how I used it to make a wonderful Beef Barley Vegetable Soup. Here's how I made the beef stock.

Beef Stock-

4 good size Beef Soup Bones
a drizzle of olive oil
4 carrots
6 ribs of celery
an onion
herbs & pepper

First I drizzled a little olive oil in the bottom of my sturdy baking pan, and put in the soup bones, next I added the carrots which had been cleaned, peeled and cut in half, and the celery which had been cleaned and cut in half. Chop onion into 6 to 8 wedges and add to pan as well (you can see from the pictures that I forgot to add the onions, but it worked out fine, because I added them to the soup pot when I transferred the rest of the ingredients.) I then sprinkled it with some herbs, I used some parsley and Italian herbs, fresh thyme would be good as well. Then roast at 400 F. for about an hour.

Before Roasting

After Roasting

Transfer the contents of the pan to a Soup Pot, scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any meat bits. Cover bones and veggies with water at least an inch over bones, and an inch from the top of the pan so it doesn't bubble over. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a nice low simmer, I like to keep my temp between low and simmer, because all the way on simmer the water stops moving and I want a little tiny boil. The longer you leave the broth cooking the better the broth- it is better to get an early start so you can get plenty of cooking time before night time. I didn't get mine started until One in the afternoon, so I stayed up late and let it simmer until 10:00 pm.

Here is the broth with the onions finally added.

I removed the bones and some of the veggies with tongs ( I saved the carrots for the dogs, they loved them! ) The other bits I couldn't get out with tongs were removed when I poured out the broth through a mesh strainer into the container I was storing it in. Here is what it looked like.

After it cooled down a bit I put it in the fridge overnight. The next day, when i was ready to make my Beef Barley Soup, I took out the broth, and removed all but 1/6th of the fat (the fat I removed is reserved in the fridge for making bird seed suet cakes)Here is a picture of the broth right from the fridge with its separate layers.

The broth was nice and gelatinous just like I was hoping for. Here's how I used it in my soup:

Beef Barley Soup

Homemade Beef Broth
1 large onion
6-8 ribs of celery chopped
20 white mushrooms quartered
3/4 cup barley
1 bag frozen "California Blend" Veggies (Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower)
a couple fresh chopped zucchini
Sea Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper, Italian Herbs and Parsley to taste
1-2 cups of thinly chopped beef (any inexpensive cut will do, I always just pick the cheapest little piece of beef I can find, like a couple little round steaks or something)

Put broth in Large Soup Pan, along with Celery and Onions, I usually add chopped carrots at this point too, but since there were carrots in the frozen veggie mix I omitted extra carrots. Let the soup get up to a nice simmer, add a little water if needed. Next I added the mushrooms and barley and herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

Here is a picture of the soup after the addition of the mushrooms.

Then chop the meat and add it. Let simmer at medium for about an hour, then add frozen veggies and fresh chopped zucchini.

This soup is wonderful with just about any frozen veggie blend, it is fun to experiment with lots of different veggies, certainly any yummy veggie growing out in the garden.

Cook on low for a couple more hours until beef and barley are nice and cooked. I also like to add another bit of salt pepper and herbs to taste at this point as well. I love this soup served with sliced and buttered sour dough bread. The whole family really enjoyed this soup. Hope everyone can give this a try, making your own broth is well worth the effort!!


  1. Looks good! Sounds like an interesting book.

  2. Looks yummy!

    Thanks for stopping over to my place, we lived in Southern Oregon for a couple of years while I worked for the Shakespeare Festival. Love Oregon, wish it was closer to Iowa so we could have stayed!


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