Friday, October 12, 2012

Oxtail and Barley Soup to Welcome Fall

I was giddy walking to my car yesterday. I was cold. Yes, cold. Funny how you can forget that sensation during the summer. Cold is so welcomed in the Fall and then so disdained come late March.

So in celebration of fleeces, uggs, and waaaaaay too many Pinterest Fall decor and craft ideas... I give you one of my most comforting soups. Perfect to come home to after a Sunday drive through the country, after waiting in the cold for your kid's coach to wrap up practice, or after an afternoon of apple picking.

Some recipes don't need changing. Ina Garten hits a home run with these simple ingredients. Simple veggies, rich barley and tender oxtail.

  • Oxtail and Barley Soup (by Ina Garten)

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    2 pounds beef oxtails
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 chopped leeks, white and light green parts
    4 carrots (1/2-inch) diced
    1 chopped yellow onion
    2 large stalks (1/2-inch) diced celery
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
    3 bay leaves
    10 cups canned beef broth
    1 cup pearled barley

    Heat large pot to medium high heat. Add olive oil. Brown your oxtails after sprinkling them with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

    Do this for about 10 min (browning each side for a couple minutes).

    Remove oxtails and set aside. Time for the veggies to sauté in those fabulous brown bits in the pot.

    Chop your veg into 1/2 inch dice. As for the leeks, this is my favorite way to clean them:

    Slice in half length wise, then dice like a scallion. Put in big pot of water allowing all the dirt to rinse off, a colander is best for this.

    Dirty dirty!

    Allllll clean!

    Turn down you pan to medium. Add all veg. Sauté for 10 min, adding the garlic in the last few minutes.

    Time for your thyme. Secure it with kitchen twine so you can fish it out later. Add bay leaves as well.

    Return oxtails back to the pot with an additional tsp of each salt and pepper. Add broth and bring in a boil. Then simmer, covered for an hour.

    During this time, cook the barley with 4 cups water for 30 min in a separate pot. Cooking it separately will ensure the grain will hold together well for the soup. Drain and set aside until soup is ready.

    After an hour, remove bay leaves and time. Also skim the fat off the top with a large spoon.

    Remove oxtail (now fully cooked) and meat should come off easily. Shred and return to soup just before serving.

    Add barley and cook for another 15 minutes until the barley is just cooked through. Taste for salt and pepper but it should be perfect.

    Oh how I love Fall. But secretly, I love it because I am finally justified to make hot comforting soups. While I make them all year love, they are most appreciated come October.

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