Beef Barley Stew Recipe
Beef Barley Stew Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Beef Barley Stew Recipe

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4.5 9 11
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I like barley, so I knew I had to try this recipe when I ran across it in a newspaper some years ago. It's nice to have a tasty, filling dish that's lower in fat.—June Formanek, Belle Plaine, Iowa
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1-1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
  • 1 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 266 calories, 8g fat (0 saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 618mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 23g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.


  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown meat in oil in batches. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, saute onion until crisp-tender. Add the broth, barley, seasonings and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Add carrots; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30-40 minutes or until meat and carrots are tender. Add parsley just before serving. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Beef Barley Stew in Taste of Home October/November 1995, p40

Light-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir.

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funmom27616 User ID: 4284581 263412
Reviewed Mar. 13, 2017

"I love this stew, it was one of the first recipes I tried when I got married. It fills your house with a mouthwatering aroma! I add in potatoes to make it a little heartier and haven't noticed a flavor change, it goes well with the rosemary. I have also adapted this to be a slow cooker meal, the only things I change is I only brown the outsides of the meat (not cooked all the way through) and then just set it on low for 4-6 hours but be careful with the barley, if you add too much it will soak up all the liquid, best to omit if you go the slow cooker route. Comes out just as tasty!"

wrenjen523 User ID: 7407554 9201
Reviewed Oct. 3, 2013

"This turns out to be a complete fail for me, first I didn't watch and added more oil than I wanted, then the barley absorbed more liquid than I expected, and then I added the spice and it came out fast, and was a little heavy handed, so I ended up having to pitch the whole thing, being inedible and unable to fix the problem. At least its things I did wrong rather than the recipe, which I may attempt again, based on the 4 and 5 star reviews. Don't let my inability to make the recipe deter you if you're intrested in making it."

farrahlu22 User ID: 6081846 9607
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2011

"Pretty good, and very easy to make, will be making it again"

LizWhatton User ID: 3684514 9463
Reviewed Mar. 15, 2011

"Got this recipe from my married daughter. It's excellent and filling; very tasty. I did add a little more beef broth to make it a soup; also added celery. Gave some to 2 neighbors, who are asking for the recipe."

LeLimey User ID: 4716277 8899
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2010

"Love this stew - it's exactly how I've always made stew except that I will add some worcestershire sauce and also chunks of parsnips to it as well. A perfect "rib-sticker" as my grandma used to call it - warming winter food that sticks to your ribs and keeps you warm!"

doddstir User ID: 4812196 9605
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2010

"This recipe was simple to make and it was very tasty. I added a couple shakes of worcestershire and lemon juice to the first hour of cooking; I like how it flavors the meat. I will definately make it again."

khuntley User ID: 5505495 9163
Reviewed Oct. 14, 2010

"Nice on a cold day. This stew is heavier than I thought it would be, probably due to the barley. It turned out looking a bit more like gruel or something, but did taste rather good. I don't know if I would say that there are 8 servings, but I didn't need that many anyway."

PastorsWife7 User ID: 884194 9158
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2010

"Love it! The whole family does too. easy to make & very cheap. This will be a regular recipe for us especially in the winter here in PA."

blackpearls User ID: 2726044 200251
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2009

"This stew is a family favorite. It is flavorful and very filling and economical to make. It is a comforting dish to eat, especially when coming in from outside when it is cold out. When my daughter was just learning to eat "real food" (as an almost toddler) she would always ask for more of this...she LOVED it! We would grind it through her baby food maker and she just couldn't eat it fast enough. She is 7 and still asking for it!"

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