Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vitameatavegamin-or Beef and Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker

We've been on an I Love Lucy kick this month. It's not just a title, I really do love that crazy redhead. We all do, young charges included. The only drawback to too much Lucy is trying to get them to settle down at bedtime after they watch her brilliant oddball comedy. It's more of a hyperactivity catalyst then pure liquid sugar. It's making me laugh so hard that I actually get an ab workout. Hey, I wasn't even trying.
One of the best episodes, hands down, is "Vitameatavegamin."
Remember when Lucy gets sloshed practicing a commercial for the miracle supplement? She tells viewers that the alcohol-laden syrup contains "vitamins, meats, vegatables, and minerals." And that got me thinking about this Beef and Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker. It's got vitamins, meats, vegetables, and minerals. The only thing it doesn't have is alcohol, so you are guaranteed to stay warm, satisfied, and 100 percent sober. It's a cinch to make in your slow cooker, so fill 'er up today. "It's so tasty too; just like candy." Well, maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but it's spot-on if you leave out the candy part.
Money Saving Tips:
Use any cut of on sale beef, even a pot roast, cut into 1 inch pieces. Beef bouillion cubes will work well here, just add less than you think you need and taste at the end and adjust. Got any leftover cooked vegetables-just throw them in at the end.

Beef with Barley Soup
Estimated Cost: $6.00 for four large servings
1 lb. stew meat
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 clove garlic, mined
5 cups beef broth
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried parsley, or 2 tablespoons fresh
Add later:
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley (quick cooking is fine)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
fresh parsley, for serving
Add meat through parsey to crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Add barley for last hour of cooking. Stir in vinegar and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Next Up:
Crock Pot Mulligatawny
PS Click here to vote for West's More Rockin' Morrocan Peanutty Pitas everyday through 2/12. Scroll down and register-it takes 10 seconds, promise! See yesterday's post if you have no idea what I'm talking about.
PSS West just got an offer to appear on a morning show to make his recipe. He's decided to enter the witness protection program instead.


Girl Japan: April Marie said...

I love Barley soup.. esp Lucy for viewing pleasures in the background = )

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emily said...

I love all the wintery meals you've been posting, especially slow cooker ones. This sounds so good and I have some barley I've been wanting to use up. Thanks for all the recipes!

Katrina said...

I Love Lucy, too! Vitameatavegamin just might be my favorite episode. That or the candy factory one, or....yeah, it'a hard to pick, but I Love Lucy!
And the soup look yummy! I have to do a "class" (The meeting formally known as Enrichment--ha, wish there was a symbol for it! ;) But I have to do a class about soups that use our food storage. This looks like a great one. I have barley!

Chef Aimee said...

Oh how I love slow cooker soups...and Lucy! :)

kitchen table said...

I like barley soup! MY mother loves making it for us. It is very timely for the cold weather.

KimT said...

Vitameatavegamin and the episode when Lucy and Ethel work in the candy factory are the two best episodes ever!

Anonymous said...

Do you have the cooking times and temperatures switched??

You say to cook on high for 6 to 8 hours, or on low for 3 to 4.

That doesn't make much sense to me.

Prudy said...

Yes, anonymous! Thanks for catching it.

Katrina said...

I made this soup last night, but I made a quick version using ground beef and cooking it on the stove. Still--it was great! (I also used dehydrated carrots. They are pretty good!)

Megan said...

I haven't seen many I Love Lucy episodes but I certainly remember this one :) This soup sounds so delicious and heart-warming, I will definitely be trying it soon!

gigi said...

I can't wait to make this!

the mama monster said...

ahhh i love that episode! this soup looks really good, thanks.

Shelley said...

I just made this last night for our lunch today! Found a 2.5# sirloin roast marked down from $14 to $7, so cut it all up into little pieces, froze half (for another batch of soup) and used the other half yesterday - a very prudent buy! It was super-easy, and the little bit of brown sugar & balsamic made it so delicious! We'll be thinking of you at lunch today! (I left out the mushrooms as my charges aren't fans - but next time perhaps I'll grind them up really tiny and they won't know the diff!)

Bill Bird said...

This is a good recipe. But -- it's even better when you add a quart of home-canned heirloom tomatoes from the backyard. You need to increase the amount of barley to compensate for the additional liquid -- but man oh man -- there's nothing like that creamy heirloom tomato taste combined with beef and barley. Good stuff. Two thumbs up.

Prudy said...

Bill, you lucky man! That sounds fantastic!

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