Beef Barley Soup with Mushrooms and Thyme
Why This Recipe Works
For our beef soup recipe, could we make a flavorful from-scratch broth without slaving over a stove all day after bringing home a carload of beef? We could—using a full 6 pounds of beef shank (yes, you really do need this much) or a combination of chuck and small marrow bones. First we browned the meat and an onion in the pan, then removed them and deglazed the pan with red wine. Reducing the wine to a syrup, returning the meat and onions to the pan, and letting them "sweat" over low heat for about 20 minutes unleashed their flavorful juices. To finish our beef soup recipe, we added water and simmered for 1 1/2 to two hours—certainly more time than it takes to open a can, but not an all-day affair, either.