Guinness Beef-Barley Soup

This hearty meal lies somewhere between soup and stew. One taste, and you won’t care which category it belongs to—you’ll just care that there’s enough on hand for seconds!


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1 1/2 pounds bone-in beef shank
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups Guinness draught divided
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dried barley
~ chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
  1. Remove the bone from the shanks and set aside.
  2. Cut the meat in to bite-sized pieces and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Sprinkle the meat with 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
  4. Heat four tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking.
  5. Add the beef in small branches and brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  6. Add the butter and remaining oil to the skillet and heat briefly. Add the onion and sauté until softened—approximately 3 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, taking care not to burn it.
  8. Add the beef, carrots, celery, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and remaining pepper to the onion mixture. Adjust the heat and cook for 2 minutes.
  9. Add 1/2 cup of the Guinness, stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  10. Add the beef bones, chicken stock and remaining Guinness and bring to a lively simmer. Lower the heat to a slow simmer, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  11. Add the barley and cook until the meat and barley are ender—approximately 45 minutes longer.
  12. Adjust the seasonings, remove the bones and serve.


Preparation Time: 
About 90 minutes