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Slowcooker Beef and Pearl Barley Soup


1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
300g button mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons worcester sauce
2 litres beef stock
8(1kg) beef tails or stewing steak (chuck, gravy beef, rump) diced into 3cm cubes
salt and pepper


Saute the onions, carrot, celery, mushrooms, bay leaves and herbs in a frying pan in the olive oil. 
Transfer to the slowcooker. Then lightly brown the meat over a high heat on each side. Transfer to the slowcooker. Add the remaining ingredients to the slowcooker and cook on high for 8 hours, stirring every so often.
Skim any fat off the surface.
Serve with crusty bread.

There is nothing like a cold winters day huddled inside with the slowcooker simmering a hearty and delicious soup.
I first tasted this hearty soup in a café at Mount Donna Buang, Victoria, one winter when we took the kids up to the snow. I tried to work out the ingredients to recreate it when I got home. So here is my version!
This soup can be cooked in a slowcooker or on the stove top in a large pot.


Note: I like to sauté my vegetables and brown my meat before placing them in the slowcooker as it intensifies the flavour and gives it a richer flavour but this is not necessary.
If using beef tails you can either take the meat off the bone when cooked or leave whole in the soup.



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