Chef Tom – Baby, it’s Cold Outside

I think everyone is craving warmth right now, inside and out, some much more than others. I saw a drool-worthy pic of a bowl of Beef Barley soup and I hadda have me some. I doubled the time on the recipe because the beef needed more time in the pot to get meltingly tender. This is so worth the wait. I imagine you could switch out which cut, from already cut up stew meat to an indulgent rib-eye or NY (the tenderer cuts obviously don’t need the entire first 30-40 minute simmer). Chuck roast has good flavor and good connective tissue that turns into silk in your mouth.

A hearty red to go with, maybe a slice of toasted whole grain, and a simple salad makes this a most satisfying meal.

Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup

1 1/2 lb. chuck roast
Salt and pepper

1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more

1 large yellow onion

3 garlic cloves

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp rosemary

1 tsp salt

1 bay leaf

6 cups beef broth

4 large carrots

4 stalks celery

1 cup barley

Cut the beef into 1 to 2-inch cubes, keeping much of the fat intact. Spread all the cubes out on your cutting board and season them well with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add beef cubes in batches. Do not crowd the pan or it will boil instead of brown. The brown part (fond) is where a lot of the flavor comes from. Space the cubes apart and brown flipping once on med-high for 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer browned pieces to a bowl and set aside.

Add another tablespoon  of oil to the Dutch oven. Cut onion into 1-inch chunks. Lower the temperature under the pot to med-low. Add the onions, cover, and allow them to caramelize, covered, stirring every fifteen minutes. While onions cook, chop the garlic fine. Once the onions have softened and turned caramelly brown (this will take 30-45 minutes), add the garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the soy sauce, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, and salt and sauté for 1 minute. Place the beef back into the pot, then add the bay leaf and bone broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer the soup, covered, for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the carrots into 1-inch coins, and the celery into 1-inch chunks. Once the beef has simmered for the 30-40 minutes, add the veggies and the barley. Cook for another 30 minutes or until carrots have softened and the barley is cooked.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with a lovely crusty loaf of bread and some good butter.


The Kanneh-Mason family of extraordinary musicians. They recently released their first family album Carnival of the Animals on Decca Classics, with guests stars Michael Morpugo and Academy Award winner Olivia Colman.

If you are unfamiliar with this family of seven siblings, give a listen, and follow their links for more. If you know of them, then you’ll enjoy a re-visit. Here are just a few, including three of the tracks from their album. Brother Sheku has become quite the celebrity in his own right, including playing at the Royal Wedding of Meghan and Prince Harry.


Sheku Kanneh-Mason – Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah, arr. Tom Hodge

Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals – Aquarium

Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals – The Swan


Redemption Song


CBS Sunday Morning


Chef Tom is currently transitioning from Personal Chef to Private Chef. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at

2 Responses to “Chef Tom – Baby, it’s Cold Outside”

  1. Damon Hines Says:

    Really enjoyed the music this morning, chef…I’m cooling a bean and bacon soup as I type, but I might try something like this next…I’ve been rotating through a Southwestern-ish chicken and corn chowder, pozole verde and posole rojo, with unforgivable personal touches but good intentions and great taste, and seldom anyone to share with. Cheers, all the best!

    • Thanks, Damon. I love posole, tho I’ve only done rojo. Chicken and corn chowder sounds really good, too. Well, if some of your personal touches have been unforgivable, but the dish ends up tasting good, that’s all that matters. Then those touches become your secret ingredients. lol

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