Maureen O'Hara loves my BAHR-leeh soup

by Scotty Irani
Food Columnist

There is no month harder to come up with a recipe for than March. I know that may seem confusing to you, dear foodie, but I’m serious. As a food writer and recipe maker, March, for me anyway, is a more difficult month.

Now I know you may be thinking, “But chef Scotty, what about November and December?” Actually, there is probably some queen sitting at the bar behind you reading this article and thinking, “No chef Scotty; no-one cares.” But seriously those are great months for recipes.

March is, well, Irish. Now don’t get me wrong, but I love the Irish. The food, not so much. Now don’t send hate email. On second thought, I would love to hear from someone who reads this column (I’ve been writing it for the past five years).

It’s cliché to throw an Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage recipe at you, or another way to make soda bread and something with potatoes ...always with those damn potatoes!

So, I started thinking…

In March I think about St. Patrick’s Day. When not thinking about beer, I think about my favorite March movie, The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. When I think about Maureen O’Hara, I think how she says the word Barley…seriously! Ms. O’Hara hits the “BAR” part really hard and softens the “Leeh” part, all together in her great Irish accent forming what I hear as “BAHR-leeh.”

So then, like a gift from a Leprechaun and his pot of gold, an idea came to my mind!

Throw this savory and filling soup in the “O’Crock-Pot, deck yourself in green and go celebrate St. Patty’s Day (responsibly). You’ll come home to a wonderful meal.

Crockpot Beef and BAHR-leeh (Barley) Soup

2 pounds beef stew meat

In The Kitchen With Scotty “The Roast Beast” Seasoning

2 quarts unsalted beef broth

2 cups water

2 cups shredded carrots, 3-4 large carrots

2 cups shredded potato, (I use Yukon Gold)

1 cup diced celery, 2-3 ribs

1 cup diced yellow onion

5 cloves fresh garlic, smashed and chopped

1 large Bay Leaf

1 cup pearl barley (Not Pearl Bailey; pearl Bahr-leeh), rinsed

Grapeseed oil for browning

1. In a heavy bottom skillet, add a shallow amount of oil and heat. Sprinkle The Roast Beast seasoning all over the stew meat making sure it is coated all over. In small batches add the stew meat and brown. Remove the browned meat and repeat the process if needed. Remove the meat and pour off the excess oil.

2. Place the pan back onto the heat and add the two cups of water to deglaze the pan. Scrape up all the cooked-on bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat.

3. In your crockpot add the browned stew meat, along with the deglaze. To that add the beef broth, bay leaf, garlic, celery, and onion. Slow cook for six hours.

4. An hour before you’re ready to serve, add the shredded carrots, potatoes, and barley. Cook for one hour.

5. Taste for any additional seasonings; add to taste. Enjoy!

The Gayly. March 17, 2018. 8:00 a.m. CST.