Winter has arrived – quite a bit early in my mind! With blustery winds and wind chills in the teens my mind and stomach turn to hot, brothy foods. The recipe I’ll share today is one that is simple, delicious and sure to warm you up. It makes a lot so leftovers can be frozen for another meal or portioned out into lunch sized containers.
This recipe has grain in it so for a healthful option to ensure maximum digestibility and mineral assimilation plan ahead so the barley can soak. Here is a very simplistic explanation of why grains should be soaked before eating. God designed grains (nuts and seeds as well) to last a long time and to keep from sprouting or spoiling – basically to protect them. What protects them doesn’t allow us to access the minerals found within. Digestion is difficult and requires our bodies to search for the needed minerals to complete the process. Where are these minerals found? In our bones, teeth, hair, anything not necessary for life at that moment. That is not good news! Soaking is the answer to that problem as it neutralizes the protectors and is very simple to do. Here is the process:
Place desired amount of grain in a glass bowl. Cover with warm water. For each cup of grain add 1 tablespoon of an acid such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk or whey. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place for 7 – 24 hours. Drain and use in the recipe. Some grains, rice – for instance, require less time than others to be ready for digestion so that accounts for the time variation. Besides being more healthful, grains that have been soaked often require less cooking time.
Now for the recipe. Enjoy!
- 1 pound ground beef – grass fed preferable
- 6 – 8 cups beef stock – or a combination of beef and chicken (home prepared if possible)
- 1 14 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
- 1 c chopped celery
- 1 c chopped carrots
- 1 c chopped onion
- 1 c long cooking barley – soaked in warm water with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for 7 – 24 hours
- 1/4 c chopped parsley or equivalent dried
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic to taste
- 1 – 2 bay leaves
- Brown beef with onion. Add a bit of coconut oil or butter if needed.
- Add stock to pot and bring to a boil.
- Add vegetables, barley and spices. Simmer until barley is cooked – about 1 and 1/2 hours.
- Note: Quick cooking barley can be used but I prefer the long cooking variety.