Tuesday was election day and since neither of us were very enthusiastic about watching the returns I thought the least we could do for ourselves was to have a nice dinner. Unfortunately, I started too late and didn’t braise the beef long enough. Not quite as tender as it should have been. So I did what all enterprising cooks do: turned the leftovers into a soup du jour!
I thought this would be a good, technical way to use the leftover not-braised-enough beef . I mean, it’s kind of like finishing the braise, right? Ha! Of course when I think of beef soup I immediately think of the classic Campbell’s beef and barley soup. Didn’t have any barley though. But, I did have some farro and farro is kind of like barley. Actually. I think it’s a little hardier and stands up better in soups. Doesn’t get as mushy, and retains texture. We like it and usually have it in the pantry.
In order to soften up the beef a little, I simmered it in some stock for a half hour. Figured that would help. Now normally I’d put the vegetables in the soup pot, cook them, and then add stock or water but I didn’t want them to get mushy by simmering with the beef for a long time. So, I sautéed the vegetables separately then added when I put in the farro.
Turned out great and it’s always nice to salvage a mistake and come up with something good. If you didn’t know it’s farro you’d think it’s beef and barley!
Beef and Farro Soup (6-8 servings)
- 1 lb beef, diced
- 1 large carrot, small dice
- 1 small onion, small dice
- 1 rib of celery, small dice
- 6 C beef stock
- ¾ C farro
- Salt and pepper
- 3 Tbs parsley, chopped
- 3 Tbs butter
In a large pot over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs of the butter. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes.
Pour in the beef stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Melt the remaining Tbs of butter in a pan and saute the carrot, onion, and celery for 5 minutes. Until the onions start to brown.
Add the vegetables to the soup.
Stir in the farro. Simmer for 20 minutes or until farro is cooked and tender.
Season with salt and pepper, stir in the parsley, serve.