County Clare Guinness Beef Barley Soup
- 1-1/2 pounds diced beef chunks, cut ¼-inch size
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
- 6 cups beef stock
- ½ cup barley
- 3 carrots, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 ribs celery, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 onions, cut into ½--inch cubes
- 2 strips bacon, chopped
- 1 cup (or more to taste) Guinness stout
- 1 cup of good red wine
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 clove garlic. minced or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- In large, heavy pot, brown beef cubes in 2 tablespoons of oil. Add beef stock and bring to a slow boil.
- Add barley and simmer, uncover, about 1 hour or until soft. (If using instant barley, 15 minutes will be adequate cooking time.)
- In large skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add carrots, celery, onions and bacon. Cook slowly over medium heat until vegetables are crisp tender and onions translucent. Add to stock.
- Add Guiness, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and brown sugar. Simmer until vegetables and beef become tender, about 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- To thicken, if desired, mix cornstarch with a little cool broth then whisk into soup. Bring to a simmer. Remove bay leaves and serve in bowls. Makes 6-8 servings.