Beef Barley Soup


1.5 lbs beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 – 1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces (Yukon gold or russets are preferred)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium yellow or sweet onion, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp better than bouillon beef base (optional but recommended)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
6 cups beef broth or stock
2/3 cup pearl barley


  • Cube beef in large chunks, about 1 inch square.
  • If desired, heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over MED HIGH heat. Add beef cubes and brown for 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Add beef and all remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Remove bay leaves and thyme stems and serve

TexMex Jambaylaya

Trigger Warning!

This will piss off foodie purists, but I love making fusion dishes from the flavors I love, so here goes my recipe!


  • 2 Ribs Celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 Smallish Serrano Pepper (add additional for spicier goodness)
  • 1/2 Bunch Green Onion, garnish chopped
  • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro, garnish chopped
  • 8oz of Red Kidney Beans (cooked)
  • 8oz of Black Beans (cooked)
  • 1 Bell Pepper, coarsely chopped (if you like bell peppers) 
  • 5 Medium Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Tomato (preferred variety), Diced
  • 3/4 lbs of Andouille Sausage
  • 1/3-1/2 lbs of Beef Kielbasa
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 – 6 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbs Dried Oregano, to taste
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Himalayan Salt (to suit)
  • Black Pepper (to suit)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Stick Cinnamon
  • 1 Pkg of Zatarain’s Jambalaya Rice


Follow instructions to begin making your preferred rice.  As rice is boiling/cooking, add bay leaf and 1/2 cinnamon stick to cooking rice mixture.

Over medium heat add onion, garlic, celery, tomato, serrano pepper (optional bell pepper) and 1 tbsp of olive oil and begin cooking down til all of the ingredients soften.

Combine spices in a ramekin and mix thoroughly.

In separate skillet/iron skillet, add cubed meat to skillet and cook thoroughly.

Once rice is nearing completion (5 minutes before hand), add spices from ramekin, cooked Andouille/Kielbasa and both beans to combined veggie mixture and stir thoroughly.  Continue to simmer on low heat until warm/hot and rice is done.

When rice is done, spoon onto plates and add sausage/veggie mixture to suit.  Garnish with green onion and cilantro.