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beef and barley soup recipe

Beef & Barley Stew

This is an easy recipe to throw into the slow-cooker and go do what you do! Eight hours later, you come home to soul-warming awesomeness. You can do the vegetable and meat prep the night before—just keep everything in the refrigerator until go-time. Adding new potatoes amps up the heartiness of this meal even more.
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -6
Author Michelle Frank


  • 1 c pearl barley
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white or red wine
  • 1 chuck roast, trimmed and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 pound small new potatoes, halved (optional)
  • 8 c broth or stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp dried Italian herb mix (e.g., rosemary, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley for serving
  • grated cheese for serving


  • Season the beef cubes generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the vegetable oil to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef cubes in small batches, turning occasionally, so that at least two sides develop a deep-brown sear. Repeat until all meat has been seared, lowering heat and adding additional oil if necessary between batches; remove meat and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, barley, and herbs; saute an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the wine to deglaze the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon (scrape the bottom of the pan as the wine cooks down). Allow the wine to reduce by half.
  • Pour the mixture into a slow-cooker. Add the meat and any accumulated juices. Stir in the stock. Set slow-cooker on low and leave for 8 hours.
  • If you are using potatoes, add them in during the final hour of cooking (adjust slow-cooker temperature to high). Alternatively, you can steam the potatoes until tender and add them to the soup during the final 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Taste the soup, adjusting seasoning as necessary with S&P. Garnish with parsley and grated cheese. Enjoy!