Instant Pot: Beef and Barley Soup

 

JeffreyW makes mouths water with this photo of his Beef and Barley Soup (with bonus Foccacia recipe here)

For the stovetop version, click here.

It has been unseasonably warm here, but I still wanted soup. Checked the freezer and I had a cross-rib roast, that would do since there was not a secret stash of chuck roast tucked away. All the other ingredients were handy, so Beef and Barley soup was it.

I added a potato, diced small, just because.

Beef & Barley Vegetable Soup

  • olive oil
  • 1 lb chuck, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 14 oz of tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 8 cups of water (or water and vegetable broth**)
  • 12 oz sliced carrots (frozen ok)
  • 12 oz green beans (frozen ok)
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (more as desired)
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)

large saucepan

Heat oil in the instant pot on the sauté setting. Sauté onions for 1 minute, add beef and brown on all sides, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute making sure not to burn the garlic. Add remaining ingredients.  Set the pot to Soup/Stew setting and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until barley is tender.  Use natural release method.

Serve with biscuits or cornbread.

**For vegetable broth,  I blend the tomatoes, and an additional 6 oz of carrots, 6 oz of green beans, 2 stalks of the celery, 1 cup water into a smooth puree, to make a hearty base for the soup.  I like the hearty stock.

Yum.

It’s soup season, so here are a few more: Tomato Soup and Grilled CheeseChicken Tortilla Soup, and Minestrone with Tiny Meatballs


 

Locked Down Cooking: Raiding the Freezer

I’m trying to clean out the freezer, using up items before my weekly shopping trip. Since I can’t run out to pick up something I may have forgotten, I’ve had to get creative as I cook. Here are two meals made from what was in the house on those days.

My favorite Oven-Baked Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes, with a little twist: smoked brisket gravy. The thing about oven-baked chicken is there’s not enough drippings to make a good gravy. But in my freezer, I had little secret ingredient to make a great, smoky gravy: burnt ends. These were leftover from my very first smoked brisketContinue reading

Happy New Year’s Eve: What’s In Store For 2020

This fascinated me – it’s all the planets (RIP Pluto) in their relative rotations all in one planet:

Big plans for 2020. I have the Winter into Spring Cookbook in the works. And a friend and I are going to incorporate my menus and recipes into a Cozy Mystery Series, set in the fictional town of Duxbridge, MA.

Stay tuned….


 

Cookbook News: Summer Into Fall Edition Available Now!

Order What’s 4 Dinner Solutions: Summer into Fall here!

What’s 4 Dinner Solutions actually started years before the blog, as a menu service for busy families. When it was time to move on from that, I started the blog to continue sharing recipes. But what that means is, I have in my arsenal, fifty-two weeks of menus, recipes and shopping lists.

A few years ago, a friend convinced me to turn it into a cookbook. I quickly realized it would be unmanageable as one cookbook, so I’ve created four: Summer into Fall, Fall into Winter, Winter into Spring and Spring into Summer. Continue reading

Quick and Easy Skillet Buffalo Chicken

I really like to whip up quick flavorful dinners.  Buffalo chicken is a favorite and I’m always experimenting with making it better.  This time I tossed the chicken in seasoned potato starch and thought it was the ingredient that had been missing. It makes the chicken pieces crisp up nicely and added a depth of flavor beyond the sauce.

It is great served over rice, salad, mashed or baked potatoes, drizzled with bleu cheese dressing and a side of celery.  All the flavor of wings without the prep time or mess.

Skillet Buffalo Chicken Bites Continue reading

Christmas Eve Menu

Every year, around Thanksgiving, I ask my Christmas Eve guests what they want at our annual soiree.

This year we settled on fairly simple, yet tasty menu:

Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken 

This will be a tweaked recipe – kind of combining two of my favorite recipes. I’ve done a couple of practice batches – can’t have too much oven fried chicken! – and once I have it perfected, I’ll post.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

I’m doing my no boil mashed potatoes (recipe here) and serving it fully loaded with sour cream, bacon and cheddar cheese. Also gravy.

Cajun Gravy

This will be a spicy mix of sausage, bacon, minced chicken hearty gravy.

Bacon, Tomato, Green Beans

Pretty simple – tossing green beans with bacon (and bacon grease) and sliced grape tomatoes in a skillet until tender.

And finally, dessert will be the ever popular Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Premium vanilla bean ice cream served with choice of toppings – caramel, chocolate, peanuts, walnuts and sliced bananas

Photos and recipes to follow.

 

Grilled Turkey Thighs and Garden Potatoes

I was looking to grill chicken thighs, but while I was at the store, the clerk was marking down turkey thighs. I grabbed a couple of packages, froze two and cooked one, along with the remainder of the gold potatoes I dug from the garden. A simple and delicious dinner.

Grilled/Smoked Turkey Thighs

  • 2 lbs of turkey thighs
  • olive oil
  • sage
  • salt and pepper

Rub thighs with oil, sage, salt and pepper. Heat grill to 400 degrees and grill for 5 minutes, flip and grill an additional 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue to cook until the internal temperature of 175 degrees. Depending on the thickness of the thigh it can take 15 – 25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving, to bring temp up to 180 degrees.

 

Roasted Garden Potatoes

  • 4 medium gold potatoes (Yukon or other)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • salt and pepper
  • foil (or skillet)
  • parchment paper

Scrub potatoes and cut into large cubes. Toss potatoes and onions with oil, butter, salt and pepper.

Make a pan with the foil and place a piece of parchment on the bottom. Add the potatoes and onions, don’t seal.

I grilled along with the thighs above, on the top shelf. They finished up at the same time as the thighs. Crispy and browned on the outside.