Tuesday, April 15, 2008

French Dip and Beef Barley Soup

When I saw this recipe for a slow-cooker French Dip on Baking Bites, I knew I had to give it a try. So I made it as a super-secret-special surprise for the Mister because he's big into the au jus. This was eaten so quickly, I was unable to photograph it.

Then, when I was perusing the comments on allrecipes for a similar recipe, I found that many people had turned their leftover beef and au jus into beef barely soup. Two meals in one! So I made sure to keep the amount of broth the same, even though I got a smaller cut of beef (there are only two of us, after all).

I added probably more barley than needed (as you can see), about half a cup. A quarter of a cup would easily do. You can cook it right in the broth. I tossed in some frozen peas at the end. This would be divine with delicious chunks of potato as well.

Slow-Cooker French Dip
courtesy of Baking Bites, with slight mods.
Serves 2 (with leftovers for soup)

2 -2 1/2 lb beef chuck roast or brisket
2 cans beef broth
1 can condensed French onion soup
6 oz. red wine
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 french rolls (we used small sub rolls... not quite authentic)
2 - 4 slices of provolone cheese

1) Trim excess fat from roast and season with salt and pepper.
2) Pour beef broth, French onion soup, wine, and garlic powder into slow cooker. Place roast in liquid.
3) Cook for 4 1/2 - 5 hours on high, until falling apart tender.
4) Remove roast from slow cooker and allow to rest under tended foil for 10 -15 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain, then return meat to slow cooker for an additional 30 minutes on low (this step was ingenius, Ms. Baking Bites, the meat came out succulent).
5) Lightly toast rolls and lay 1 -2 slice of provolone on each. Fill each roll with sliced beef and serve the jus on the side in small bowls. Eat while it's still hot!
6) Package the beef seperate from the broth for storage. Or make your beef barley soup right away!

Beef Barley Soup (ala French Dip)
Serves 4 - 6

remaining broth from French Dip (see above)
remaining beef from French dip (see above), chopped or shredded
1/4 cup barley
1/4 cup froz peas

1) In a large pot, bring broth to a boil. Add barley and lower the temperature to a simmer. Cook covered for approximately 1 hour (or according to package directions) until barley is tender.
2) Add beef and peas. Cook 10 -15 minutes more. Serve with crusty bread.

**Note: This soup is way better than the somewhat less inspiring William-Sonoma version attempted previously.

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