"Romertopf Chicken (cooked in a clay pot)", a 2008 post, prompted an unexpected comment from an unknown reader last week, leading to her requesting more recipes.
In anticipation of a crowd this weekend, I made the very unvegetarian family favorite, Beef and Barley Soup (2007 post), which turns out more like a stew once the barley and cannellini beans are added as they absorb all the liquid. So cook alert: add more water or broth after this sits either on the stove or in the fridge. I used an excellent broth concentrate this time (Better than Bullion) and substituted a Vidalia onion for cippolines, all to good effect.
Beef and Barley Soup
3 lbs short ribs (use more if you like a meatier soup)
3 turnips (or parsnips or combo of both)
1 large cipolline onion (or 3 small or substitute another sweet onion)
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup capellini beans (or other white bean, soaked overnight)
1 cup barley
1 strip of Kombu (or other seaweed - this is critical if making the veg version)
Salt and pepper as desired
1. Trim as much fat as possible from short ribs. Reserve a small portion of fat, cut into very thin slices, and use to grease bottom of large stock pot. Add a little olive oil to make sure the whole bottom of pan is coated and that you're not increasing your cholesterol intake unreasonably (just reasonably).
2. Add crushed garlic and cook for a minute or two, until the kitchen smells great.
3. Add short ribs and sear on all sides (about 10 minutes, turning side to side).
4. Dice all veggies while searing meat.
5. Cover meat with about 12 cups of water. If it doesn't look like enough, add more. Add salt.
6. Bring to boil and skim (before pot boils over, a delicate moment).
7. Add veggies, beans, barley, bay leaf, Kombu strip, and other herbs (dried or fresh if you have them, your choice).
7A. If making veggie version, add a can of tomatoes (also OK for meat version), another strip of Kombu, and four more cloves of whole garlic, slightly crushed.
8. Simmer for three hours.
9. Correct seasoning.