Beef, Barley And Bone Soup

To learn more, read "Barley There" in our National edition. 

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Beef, Barley And Bone Soup
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Considering our Beef, Barley and Bone soup is served with a marrow bone, you might assume it would hit you over the head with oversized flavors. Not so: This soup is surprisingly nuanced and has a few nice surprises up its slurpable sleeve. Make it today!
Prep Time
Cook Time
servings (plus leftover soup)
Total time: 5 hours
  • Stock
  • 3 pounds beef shins with meat
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 cups water, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Bones
  • 6 beef marrow bones
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • Soup
  • 9 roasted barley tea bags (10 grams each)
  • 2 tablespoons bonito flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Sliced, toasted baguette
  1. Start the beef stock: Set a roasting pan in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°. To a large bowl add the beef shins, onion, 2 teaspoons of the salt and the pepper and toss to combine. Transfer the beef shins mixture to the roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, using tongs to turn the shanks every 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the shanks and onion to a large pot. Set the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat, add 2 cups of water, bring to a simmer and use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the liquid from the roasting pan to the pot along with the remaining 12 cups of water, the garlic and the carrot. Bring the stock to a bare simmer—you just want to see steam rising and some agitation under the surface, maybe a bubble or two, but nothing more. Cook the stock for 3 hours. Turn off the heat and cool completely on the stovetop before transferring everything to an airtight container and refrigerating overnight.
  3. Roast the bones: The next day, place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°. To a large bowl, add the marrow bones, onion, bay leaves, salt, pepper and oil and toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to the hot baking sheet and roast until the marrow pulls away from the bones, about 30 minutes.
  4. While the bones roast, make the soup: Skim the fat from the top of the stock. Use tongs to transfer the beef shins to another container and save for another time (the meat is delicious), then strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve and into a large pot, discarding the solids in the sieve.
  5. Bring the stock to a boil and stir in the salt. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags and the bonito flakes. Cover the pot and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain the soup into a clean pot through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on the solids in the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible.
  6. Add about 1½ cups of broth to each of 6 bowls. Set a marrow bone in each, sprinkle with parsley and serve with a piece of toasted baguette.
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