Beef and Barley Stew

  This is the easiest homemade stew you can make!  It takes time (cooking time is about 2 hours, prep time is only 15 minutes) but it’s a one pot meal that simply involves chopping the ingredients and tossing them into the pot.  What could be simpler?
 I don’t eat red meat anymore but I made the exception for this favourite recipe that I’ve had for a long time.  This is an amalgamation of many recipes I’ve experimented with over the years and finally settled on this winning combination of ingredients.
Beef and Barley Stew:
I used organic stewing beef (twice the price of regular – yikes!) and organic barley (low gluten).  I’m not kidding when I say all you do is chop and toss so this is a perfect meal for a Saturday or Sunday when you’re doing other things around the house and you can keep an eye on this while it cooks.
Some would call this a soup but it gets very thick as it cooks and the next day it’s even thicker.  Don’t be afraid to add a little water if it’s too thick for you.  Most importantly, don’t scrimp on the cooking time.  The flavour development process definitely needs the time allotted in the recipe.  It freezes well too.
I do hope you’ll try this one, it’s definitely a keeper!  Have a great day, everyone.
Beef and Barley Stew:
Beef and Barley Stew
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10 people
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 lbs of stewing beef, trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of browning liquid (I use Kitchen Bouquet)
  • 2/3 cup of pearl barley
  • 1.5 cups of carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1.5 cups of celery, diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups of organic beef broth
  • 2.5 teaspoons of dried parsley
  • 1.5 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • You can also add turnip and cabbage if they are a family favourite
  1. Put first 5 ingredients into large soup pot and bring to a boil. If there is any foam on top from the beef, be sure to scoop it off. After boiling for 10 minutes, lower heat to medium and let simmer for one hour, uncovered.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil once again, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium after 10 minutes and let cook for 45 minutes, uncovered. Remove bay leaf and serve.
  3. This freezes well up to 3 months.


  • Reply
    O meu pensamento viaja
    September 29, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Hi! Dear Robyn, this is the kind of meal I do love to cook. So easy and so delicious.
    Here, it’s raining. I’ll spend my Sunday at home … cooking: English cake, bread and soup!
    See you latter, honey!

  • Reply
    September 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Oh this would be the perfect meal on a cold night while sitting around a cozy fire 🙂 Enjoy your day, sweet Robyn!

  • Reply
    Amy Lee Scott
    October 2, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Robyn, this looks so cozy and healthy! I haven’t cooked with barley that often but this stew looks like the perfect way to break myself in 🙂

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    October 2, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    This is the time of the year that we all crave stews and soups. I miss barley and have not had it in a very long time. Beautiful and comforting. Take care, BAM

  • Reply
    Linda Primmer
    October 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Looks amazing Robyn. I do love this! Perfect for a chilly evening. My kitchen is really a mess now. I wished you lived closer, so I could join you…. Take care my sweet friend, Linda

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013 at 4:47 am

    I don’t eat beef anymore but my husband still does once in awhile and he would love this and I would love the barley for a change. I’m doing this.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Robyn, this looks amazing! Truly an autumn dish. Perfect to enjoy as the temperatures cool down. The picture are gorgeous too! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

  • Reply
    John Follaco
    October 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

    This stew is as good as it looks. I’ve made it twice in the last couple weeks. I was craving it over the weekend, on a rainy Saturday afternoon, so went ahead and made it again. Make sure you have some great crusty bread to accompany it.

  • Reply
    Self Sagacity
    October 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I like your recipe since you use a lot of what I use in my kitchen. So I can actually make this soup without having to run to the store. Awesome.

    • Reply
      October 25, 2013 at 7:26 am

      I love that too! Thanks for stopping by. I just visited both your blogs and they are awesome. Love the layout!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I have not had Beef and Barley soup in so long. I PINNED IT! Thanks you so much for stopping by and linking up at Saturday Dishes.
    Blessings and have a Wonderful Weekend!
    Diane Roark

    • Reply
      January 11, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      I love this soup and it is so healthy. Thanks for pinning and hosting.

  • Reply
    10 Soup Recipes to Warm Your Soul - Coffee With Us 3
    January 17, 2014 at 7:04 am

    […] Beef and Barley Stew by Simply Fresh Dinners […]

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