- 1¼ to 1½ lbs. beef crosscut shank (see note)
- 1¼ cup chopped onion (one medium or ½ large)
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes
- bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 sprigs parsley
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
Preheat oven to 375°. Place crosscut shanks on a roasting pan and roast for 40 minutes, turning once after 2o minutes.
Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and celery until just tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker. Add carrots, tomatoes with their juices, bay leaf, garlic, parsley, thyme and barley to the slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the vegetables, scraping in any accumulated juices and browned bits. Pour in the beef broth and water. Cook on low heat until the meat is tender and falling off the bone, 7 to 9 hours.
When the meat is tender, remove it and the bones from the slow cooker. Allow to cool slightly, then remove the meat from the bones and chop into bite-sized pieces. Make sure to get the marrow from the bones!
Remove the bay leaf and parsley sprigs from the soup. Remove the garlic cloves if desired (or leave them in as a nice surprise for a garlic-lover in your family!). Return the meat to the slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: A pound of beef stew meat can be used in place of the crosscut shank. Instead of roasting the meat, brown it in a little olive oil in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker.
Serves 4 – 6