Angry Birds Bento

The theme of the bento is based on the popular puzzle video game developed by Finland-based Rovio Mobile.

Three slices of chicken nugget are used to make a fortress to protect the green pig from the red bird assault. Other ingredients are broccoli chunks, corn, sausages, strawberry, and grapes.

Shepherds Farm Beef Barley Soup

Shepherds Farm is on Prince Edward Island. Once a month, Shepherds Farm hosts a country supper. Guests come from miles away to relax and enjoy a meal prepared with 100-per-cent-local ingredients, most from the farm’s own organic harvest.

Beef barley soup is one of those classic dishes offered by the farm. There are few things as satisfying as a simple bowl of hearty winter soup.

The following recipe is published by Michael Smith in The Globe and Mail newspaper.

BROTH

Ingredients:
3 to 4 pounds stewing beef, shank or short rib, bone in
2 carrots, chopped
1 turnip, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt

SOUP

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 turnip, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 28-ounce can chopped or diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 cup barley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Begin by making the broth, splashing a thin film of vegetable oil into a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Chose a pot with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Heat the oil until it’s hot, but not smoking. Brown the beef in several batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pot. Adjust the heat as needed to keep meat sizzling and browning. Reserve each batch of browned meat on a plate.
  3. Return all beef to the pot and add the broth vegetables. Pour in 8 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil, then simmer. Cover and cook for about 3 hours.
  4. Strain the broth, discard the bones and reserve meat.
  5. Return the broth to pot. Skim and remove as much fat as possible. Add the remaining soup ingredients. Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until barley is tender (about 40 minutes).
  6. Coarsely chop meat and return to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 8.