Beef and Barley Stew - a comforting winter warming filling bowl of tender beef pieces, vegetables and pearl barley.
Beef and Pearl Barley Stew
When it turns to the colder months of the year, stews and casseroles are a weekly rotation in my household. Firstly I love the ease of chucking all ingredients in one pot and secondly it's great for warming you up, especially if you have been out of the house for the day.
Pearl Barley in Stews and Casseroles
Pearl Barley is a great ingredient for adding into stews, casseroles and soups, it will bulk out the meal making it much more filling and means you don't have to use quite as much meat, which can sometimes be expensive.
I buy bulk bags of pearl barley from the grocery store as it always comes in handy having some in my pantry cupboard.
Vegetables for Beef and Pearl Barley Stew
The beauty of a stew or casserole is that you can really add in any vegetables you like, whatever you add will bulk out the meal and flavour the broth or gravy.
For this I used what I had on hand which was onions, carrots, mushrooms and then some kale right at the end. I love to add Kale as it's rich in iron, fibre and is a super food. But cabbage would be great too if you don't like the strong flavour of kale.
Can I use another type of meat in this recipe?
If you want to use something other than beef, I recommend some chunks of lamb which will require a similar cooking time, while something like chicken thighs would work, they will require a lot less cooking, and will need too much of an adjustment.
I don't ever recommend anything like chicken breasts in a stew or casserole, they really don't take long to cook and long cooking like this will just make the meat very dry and not very appetising, plus because they are so lean, they don't release much in natural juices which flavour a casserole or stew.
So stewing lamb or beef is the best option for this recipe.
Can this be cooking in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?
I haven't yet got round to making this using my slow cooker or instant pot, it's a recipe I always tend to make on the stove top in my Le Creuset cast iron pan.
So without testing it first I wouldn't like to comment on how this will work, adjustments will be need in the liquid and cooking times. Watch this space though, as soon as I test it out in one of those methods I will be sure to update.
Sides for Beef and Barley Stew
I usually eat this just as it is in a bowl, because of the vegetables and pearly barley it's filling enough on it's own and I don't need any sides.
But if you fancy a side to pair this with, here are some great recommendations:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Rustic Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
- Cheddar and Spring Onion Mash
- Sweet Potato Mash
- Crushed Roast Potatoes
- Garlic and Herb Roast Potatoes
or if you fancy some bread, this Oat Soda Bread which uses a HEb choice is perfect.
More Beef Stew or Casserole Recipes
- RICH BEEF AND PRUNE STEW (INSTANT POT OR SLOW COOKER)
- BEEF AND SWEET POTATO STEW
- TUSCAN BEEF CASSEROLE (STOVE TOP OR INSTANT POT)
- BEEF CELERY ORZO STEW
- BEEF AND VEGETABLE CASSEROLE (OVEN, SLOW COOKER, INSTANT POT)
or head on over to my Full Recipe Index with over 900 delicious Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly recipes all fully searchable by meal type, ingredients, syn value and smart points etc
- 455g (16oz) of stewing beef, uncooked
- 200g (7oz) onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 300g (10.5oz) of carrots, finely chopped
- 125g (4.5 oz) of mushrooms, chopped
- 3 cups (720ml) of chicken stock
- 3 cups (720ml) of beef stock
- 3 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of paprika (not smoked)
- 3 to 4 handfuls of chopped kale
- 125g (4.5oz) of pearl barley, uncooked
- salt and black pepper
- cooking oil spray (I used avocado)
- Spray a large pot over a medium high heat with some cooking oil spray
- Add the beef in batches, seasoning with salt and black pepper and fry till lightly golden, remove and set aside
- Add the onion, and fry to soften. Add a couple of spoonfuls of either stock just to deglaze the pan.
- Add the garlic, carrot, mushrooms, thyme and rosemary, paprika, splash of balsamic vinegar and tomato paste
- Add back in the stewing beef (including juices) and stir to coat.
- Add all the stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for approx 30 mins
- After 30 minutes, add in the pearl barley, and then continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes until pearl barley is cooked and meat is tender. If you like more broth on your stew, you can add some more stock as needed.
- Add in the kale for the last 10 minutes, taste and season as needed with salt and black pepper.
- Serve Enjoy!!
This recipe is dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly
- Slimming World - syn free per serving
- WW Green Smart Points - 7 per serving
- WW Blue Smart Points - 7 per serving
- WW Purple Smart Points - 4 per serving
SUITABLE FOR FREEZING
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 242Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 24mgSodium 795mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 3gSugar 6gProtein 16g