Serves 8 Prep/Cooking Time: 3 hours… and worth it!!

4-4 ½ lbs. boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-inch pieces
9 T olive oil (plus more for sauteing meat)
8 C beef stock
1 ½ t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. soy sauce
1 t. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved, cut into ¼-inch slices
3 ribs celery, halved and cut into ¼-inch slices
2 medium parsnips, peeled, halved and cut into ¼-inch slices
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 C pearl barley
1 t. crushed dried thyme
Flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

Pat meat dry with paper towels. Line a large plate with a double thickness of paper towels.
Pour enough oil into a large, deep-sided pot to coat the bottom (4-5 tablespoons). Set the pot over medium-high heat. When oil is hot (but not smoking) add enough pieces of meat to fit in a single layer.
Brown meat on all sides, turning often, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to paper towels to drain.
Repeat with remaining meat, adding more oil if needed.

Remove pot from heat and wipe out any excess oil with a paper towel. Return meat to pan and add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, 1 t. salt, and several grinds of pepper.

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and cover.
Cook at a simmer for 1 ½ hours.

While the meat is cooking, heat 3 T oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the carrots, celery, parsnips, and onion and saute until just slightly softened, for about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Heat 2 T oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mushrooms, and saute, turning and adding more oil as needed, until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

After the meat has cooked 1 ½ hours, add the sauteed vegetables (but not the mushrooms), cubed potato, barley, and thyme to the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook until barley and meat are tender, 45-60 minutes. Stir occasionally, adding more water if needed.
Add the sauteed mushrooms to the soup and simmer until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Taste soup, season with salt and pepper, as needed. Total cooking time will be about 2 ½ hours.

To serve, ladle soup into soup bowls and garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Sunday Soup