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Vegetable Soup with Kamado Smoked Ham and Barley Found a package of Kamado Joe smoked and baked spiral cut ham leftovers with the bone in the back of the basement freezer when doing some rearranging. It had been a long time in the freezer, so what to do… SOUP! The Main Pieces (ham, potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, green onion, garlic, flat parsley, red and green bell pepper, diced tomatoes, barley, stock, and seasonings...) Sautéed the Ham Pieces then Sweat the Vegetables with a few of carrots in the sweat Add Ham Bone and Tomatoes and Barley Then finish off with the chicken and vegetable stocks, water, oregano, basil, thyme and seasonings (Lea & Perrins, Cajun Seasoning, black pepper, red pepper, splash of Crystal hot sauce, a few chicken and a few beef bouillon cubes, etc) – cook for 75 – 90 minutes at a good simmer. Add potatoes and remaining carrots and cook for another 30 minutes or until they are tender. Nine Quarts of Wholesome Hearty Goodness. This soup turned out to have great depth of flavor with the mix of vegetables, seasonings and the barley and ham. It really hit the spot on a chilly day (along with my cold smoked salmon on bagels) and there will be enough to enjoy later in the week. The touch of smokiness in the ham added a nice accent and a change from the usual beef in a barley soup. Now ... don't you want to make some too?
A Hybrid Chuck Roast Cook for Fall Weather I call this a “hybrid” cook for several reasons. Firstly, it was started on the Kamado and finished on the stove, secondly I had been wanting a chuck roast which I like to cook in a braise with veggies after browning, but I also have been wanting beef barley soup, and then finally there was a draw towards a good beef stew, and thus it evolved. So, this cook took elements from all those and rolled it into a “hybrid” chuck roast meal. Bon Appetite Started with just over a 5 lb Costco chuckie. It was three nice pieces in the package. After cooking on Joe we were down to 3 lbs of really good tasting beef. The Starting Point In place of the browning of the meat, I seasoned the chuck roast pieces with just a rather light coating of Montreal Steak seasoning. Got Big(Red)Joe fired up and was going to cook at 275-300 degrees but got a very late start and reflecting on my high temperature pork butt cook, I instead opted to cook at 375-400 degrees indirect– closer to 400 degrees most of the time. At this temperature it took 3 hours to get to 185 internal and had developed a beautiful crust and patina along with a very nice smoke ring. Tossed a pecan chunk in with the lump. I removed the meat at the 185 temperature. It tasted really good at this point and with a bit more cooking on the Kamado (maybe another 30 minutes) to final tenderness (~200-205) would have been an excellent meal by itself. The bark/crust on the meat from cooking at 400 was superb. And no stall! Chuckies Ready to Come Off Big Joe The Meat Is Already Good At This Stage (Cooks Treat) When the chuck was nearing its removal, I got out the 7.5 qt Lodge enameled cast iron and on the stove sweated down the following (all coarse chopped): onion, green bell pepper, celery, green onion and garlic. Added to the sweated mixture 5 cups water and several tablespoons of Better Than Bouillion low sodium beef base. Initially seasoned with dried thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaves, Worcestershire, black pepper, and Crystal hot sauce. Now it was time for the chuck to go into the pot. Brought it all to low boil and then reduced temp to a simmer. It cooked for an hour and at that point the meat was getting fork tender and at about 205 internal. Some Fixins Meat In The Pot Time to add the 2 large cut up red potatoes, the 4 sliced carrots and 1 cup of quick cook pearled barley. Add additional water and more beef base if needed – the barley will suck up the water. Adjust seasonings to taste - for example, I added a tablespoon of ground chipotle powder and a tablespoon or so of vinegar to balance the sweetness from the onions and carrots. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the final additions including the barley are tender. The barley will also act as a thickener for the broth. At this point the meat can be cut with a spoon which is how we like it when cooked in a braise. As the dish sits the barley will slowly absorb the water. For leftovers/reheating just add some water or eat it as is. Almost Done - A Pot Full Of Food Fun Serve in a bowl and enjoy a nice fall weather meal! The final result has a nice smokiness component, a great grill flavor on the very tender meat and a wonderful medley of veggies, broth, barley and flavors. Goes well with your favorite red wine. A Great Fall Food Fix