I was honestly not sure if I should call this recipe a soup or a stew because it’s not as thick as a stew… it’s not as thin as a soup… it’s kind of in between. I know some people would call it a stoup, but I wasn’t sure if that was just a made-up cooking term, so I settled on “soup” because my intentions were to make a beef and barley soup… but terms aside, this recipe is filled with lots of beefy yummyness! It also makes quite a bit, so make sure you have a large pot peeps! We meal prepped this on the weekend and this lasted the two of us all week and we never got sick of it!
This recipe came after we had beef and barley soup at Kev’s parent’s house, ever since then that’s all we have been thinking about. So we had to make our own! I bought a bunch of small packages of simmering short ribs while at the store thinking that it wouldn’t be enough… It wasn’t until I started to brown the meat did I realize that perhaps I did buy too much meat to fit into the pot, but you know what, in the end it worked out p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y. Oh this beef barley soup is soooooo meaty and soooooo good.
After witnessing my stoooopid external hard drive die on me while transferring all my
f*kn goddamn files (because I had a inkling that it may be prone to failing soon) and going through four of the five stages of grief… I am no longer an angry person filled with fiery rage, rather an extremely depressed person with a lingering hope that maybe, just maybe my hard drive will wake up from its deep slumber so I can retrieve the remaining files (mainly my food pictures *single teardrop*). Luckily enough I was able to transfer over some of my recent food picture, so as I was going through each folder with panic I found picture of a breakfast bagel. I thought, yum! why didn’t I ever post this? I quickly flipped through my recipe book and found a recipe for a breakfast Reuben written in no other than my lovely chicken scratch kitchen writing.
If you were to ask me what my favourite winter dish was growing up, I would definitely say nikujaga (肉じゃが). Nikujaga (meat and potatoes in Japanese) is a homey dish made of simmered potatoes, onion, shirataki, and surprisingly just a bit of meat for flavour. Just like most Japanese simmered dishes (nimono 煮物) the ingredients are simmered in a sweetened broth flavoured with dashi, sake, and soy sauce. The taste of nikujaga varies from household to household, but the flavours are never forgotten by those who grew up with their mom’s cooking. Typically as people get older, they reminisce about their mother’s cooking, which is why dishes like this are considered ofukuro no aji (おふくろの味) meaning the taste of mother’s home cooking. I personally do this all the time, I tell Kevin about all the amazing food my mom would make, he usually responds with “You talk about all this delicious food, yet you never make me any of it” (insert sad puppy face). Hey what can I say, sometimes I get hung up with our weekly meal prep and I forget to fit in yummy dishes like this.