...slow-cooker beef barley soup...

Ever since I got the Cook's Illustrated "Best Slow and Easy Recipes" I've been loving my slow cooker a lot more. The recipes in this book are a bit more refined, and I trust everyone.  I made this soup the other week, and made it again today.  It's just that good.  It has an excellent broth, just enough beef, and ingredients that are all pretty budget friendly.

The original recipe calls for 'blade steak.'  When I asked the butcher what to get, he suggested brisket as it would hold up well to the long cooking time.

I think if you have a slow cooker, you should make this.  Soon...maybe even over Christmas after the fact, when family is still around...

Recipe thanks to and loosely adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients You'll Need:

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 onions, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
2 carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pearl barley
2 lbs brisket, trimmed into 1/2 inch pieces

1.  Process the tomatoes with their juices in a food processor for 15 seconds.

2.  Heat oil and add onions, tomato paste, tarragon, pinch of salt, and cook until vegetables have softened, about 10-12 minutes.  Stir in wine scraping up brown bits.

3.  Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and add in the broths, processed tomatoes, carrots, soy sauce, and barley.  Season the meat with salt and pepper then nestle it into the slow cooker as well.  Cook on low for 9-11 hours, or high for 5-7 until meat is tender.

Skim off any fat if you see a lot when done, and serve up with some crusty bread.  Enjoy and stay warm...

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