Beef Barley Stew

We had a few days last week that were chilly, for Vegas. Autumn is a finicky season in the Southwest. We will dip down into the 50s for a few days and then temperatures will rise back up to the high 70s and low 80s. On the sporadic days of lower temperatures, I embrace the cold and plan for a cozy meal.

The cooler days seem slower and more at ease. It gives me time to prepare a meal that may take longer than 30 minutes, and beef barley stew is a perfect meal for those kind of days. Actual prep doesn’t take too much time at all, but there is low and slow cooking on the stove-top that takes up the time. While you can make this recipe in a slow cooker or an instapot, I prefer the stove-top in a cast iron pot. It just gives more flavor in the end.

Beef Barley Stew

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 385 kcal


  • lb beef roast cubed
  • 1 large onion
  • cups carrots peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup celery chopped
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp rosemary fresh and diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 32 oz beef stock
  • 1 cup barley instant
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • In a large, deep pot (I prefer a dutch oven or cast iron pot), drizzle olive oil over the bottom and add in the beef chunks.
  • Begin stirring to brown the beef on all sides. Once that is finished, add in the onion and stir to combine. Allow the onion to cook for 5 minutes or so, until it begins to brown. Add in the garlic and stir while cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add in the celery, carrots, and rosemary. Stir to combine, then pour in the beef stock and add the tomato paste. Stir until combined. Allow the liquid to come to a boil and then turn the temperature down to low, cover with lid and let simmer on low for 1.5 hours. Be sure to stir occasionally so the stew doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • When the stew has simmered long enough to allow the beef chunks to soften and begin to fall apart, add in the quick cook barley. You may find you need to add more liquid as the barley soaks up the beef stock. You can either add in more beef stock, or to keep the sodium levels low you could add in water. Once the barley has finished cooking according to the directions on the packaging, season to taste with salt and pepper and then serve immediately.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 385kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 31gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 653mgPotassium: 1266mgFiber: 8gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 5871IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 5mg
Keyword barley, beef, stew, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I’ve also made this recipe without beef, and instead used Portobello mushrooms as the meat substitute and vegetable stock instead of beef stock. You follow the same steps, except you don’t need to let the stew simmer on the stove-top for so long. In fact making this as a vegan/vegetarian meal takes only 30 minutes.

Have you ever tried beef barley stew? Do you have other stews that you absolutely love to make during this time of year? Hope y’all are having an amazing week. Stay safe and hug your loved ones.

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