2 lbs. stew meat (nicely marbled) * 2 cups celery, chopped
Salt and pepper * 2 Tbsp. oil * 2 onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced * 10 cups water
3 mounded Tbsp. good quality beef base
2 cups potato, peeled and shredded
2 cups carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup barley, rinsed
Generously salt and pepper the beef. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it is very hot, add about 1/3 of the meat. When it is well browned on all sides remove to a plate and continue until all the meat is browned. (If you add it all at once it will steam the meat instead of browning it—not what you want).
When all the meat is browned, add it all back to the pot with 10 cups of water. Add the beef base.
Add the chopped celery, onions and garlic. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 2 hours with the lid on.
When the meat is tender and you can bread it apart easily with a wooden spoon, add the shredded potato and carrots. Bring back to a boil, then continue to simmer on low for another 30-45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
Add 1 cup barley. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cook for another half hour, or until barley is tender and the soup tastes…like home.