Beef Barley Stew Recipe

When the weather turns chilly, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of homemade Beef Barley Stew Recipe. This dish combines tender chunks of ...

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Calvin Lamb

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beef barley stew recipe

When the weather turns chilly, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of homemade Beef Barley Stew Recipe. This dish combines tender chunks of beef with hearty barley in a rich, flavorful broth that warms you from the inside out. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience. Ideal for a cozy family dinner or a comforting meal on a cold day, this stew promises to be a hit at any table.

Choosing the Right Main Ingredient

The star of this dish is undoubtedly the beef. For the best results, I recommend using boneless beef chuck roast. This cut is beautifully marbled, which means it’s not only flavorful but also becomes wonderfully tender when slow-cooked. When selecting your beef, look for pieces with a good balance of meat and fat to ensure each bite is as succulent as the last.

Questions About Seasoning

Seasoning is key in transforming a good stew into a great one. For this recipe, a combination of salt, pepper, dried thyme, and a touch of Dijon mustard provides a robust flavor base. The mustard adds a subtle tanginess that complements the deep flavors of the beef and barley. Don’t forget to season in layers, starting with browning the beef, then seasoning the broth, to build a rich, complex profile.

Recommended Cooking Equipment and How to Use It Effectively

A slow cooker is ideal for making Beef Barley Stew, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully over several hours. Here’s how to use your slow cooker effectively:

  1. Brown the Beef: Before adding your beef to the slow cooker, brown it in a skillet with olive oil. This step is crucial as it adds a rich flavor to the stew and locks in the juices of the beef.
  2. Layer the Ingredients: Start with the onions and garlic at the bottom of the cooker, then add the browned beef, followed by carrots, potatoes, and finally, the barley and broth. This layering technique ensures that each component cooks perfectly.
  3. Set the Right Temperature: Cook the stew on low heat for about 7-8 hours or on high for about 4 hours. Slow cooking on low heat is preferable as it makes the beef exceptionally tender.
  4. Stir Occasionally: While it’s not necessary to stir constantly, a gentle stir once in a while helps to distribute the flavors and ensures that nothing sticks to the bottom.

Comprehensive Beef Barley Stew Recipe

Yield: 8

Beef Barley Stew

beef barley stew recipe

Beef Barley Stew Recipe conjures up memories of cozy winter evenings spent around the dinner table. It's a dish that brings warmth and comfort with every spoonful, melding tender beef and hearty barley into a symphony of flavors. Truly, it's like a hug in a bowl, perfect for chilly nights.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes


  • 2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 yellow potatoes, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Prepare Ingredients: Season the beef pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Brown the Beef: In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the beef in batches and sear until all sides are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. Sauté Vegetables: In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed, and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  4. Deglaze: Pour the red wine into the skillet, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour this liquid into the slow cooker.
  5. Combine All Ingredients: To the slow cooker, add the carrots, potatoes, beef broth, thyme, and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine.
  6. Cook: Set the slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  7. Add Barley: One hour before the stew is done, add the pearl barley and stir.
  8. Finish and Serve: Once the cooking time is up, check the seasoning and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 450Total Fat: 25gCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 35g

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Serving Suggestions and Suitable Side Dishes

This hearty stew is best served hot, directly from the slow cooker. It pairs beautifully with crusty bread or rolls, perfect for soaking up the delicious broth. For a lighter side, a simple green salad complements the richness of the stew.

Cooking Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Do Not Overcrowd the Pan When Browning the Beef: This may cause the beef to steam rather than sear, reducing flavor.
  • Avoid Adding Barley Too Early: Adding the barley too early can result in it becoming too mushy. Add it in the last hour of cooking.
  • Check the Liquid Level: During cooking, ensure there is enough liquid to prevent the ingredients from drying out. Add more broth if necessary.


Beef Barley Stew is more than just a dish; it’s a comfort in a bowl, rich in flavors and textures. Whether it’s for a weeknight dinner or a gathering with friends, it promises warmth and satisfaction. Remember, the key to a great stew is patience—let your slow cooker do the work, and you’ll be rewarded with a deliciously tender and flavorful meal.

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