500ml IRISH RED ALE organic red beer from La Chouape microbrewery
6 cups beef broth
796ml diced tomatoes with Italian spices
1 tablespoon Italian spices
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup pearl barley, well rinsed
About 3 cups chicken broth
540ml white beans
1 pack (142g) baby spinach
1 1/4 cups sliced red cabbage
Salt and pepper from the mill
In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add a dash of olive oil and sear half of the beef cubes, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oil as needed. Season with salt and pepper generously. Remove the meat and set aside on a plate.
Add the onion and garlic followed by a drizzle of olive oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to soften. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute while stirring.
Deglaze with the beer and scrape the bottom to get all the flavours.
Add the beef broth, tomatoes, Italian spices, thyme, oregano, beef cubes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat and cover. Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook the barley. In a saucepan over high heat, add barley and pour enough chicken broth to have about 2" of liquid above the barley. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat and cover. Cook for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the barley is al dente. Pour into a colander, rinse thoroughly under water and set aside.
In the large sauce pan, add the white beans, spinach and cabbage then stir. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
Add the barley and stir. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.