Beef and Barley Stew Recipe - Damn Delicious (2024)

4.95 stars (38 ratings)


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Melting-tender beef chunks, perfectly cooked barley, and all the hearty veggies one can ask for. Best of all, this beef and barley stew recipe is freezer-friendly!

Beef and Barley Stew Recipe - Damn Delicious (1)

I know. I’m sorry, guys. It’s a lot of soup recipes lately, but that’sall I’ve been eating lately!

But hey, if a recipe calls for wine in a cozy, hearty soup with some crusty bread, are we really going to say no?

I didn’t think so.

Plus, we have the most amazing melting-tender beef chunks here with perfectly chewy-nutty barley that soaks up all that stew-y goodness.

The house will smell so good, I bet you can’t wait until the 45 minutes are up when your barley has cooked through. Some peeking is okay, but make sure you keep that lid covered for faster cooking.

And my favorite part is that this is completely freezer-friendly! I made this right before I left for the holidays and coming home to this soup was everything I needed to feel right at home.

That and an extra glass of wine with my soup.

Beef and Barley Stew Recipe - Damn Delicious (2)

Beef and Barley Stew Recipe - Damn Delicious (3)

Beef and Barley Stew

Yield: 8 servings

Prep: 20 minutes minutes

Cook: 1 hour hour

Total: 1 hour hour 20 minutes minutes

Beef and Barley Stew Recipe - Damn Delicious (4)

Melting-tender beef chunks, perfectly cooked barley, and all the hearty veggies one can ask for. Best of all, it’s freezer-friendly!

5 stars (38 ratings)

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds top sirloin steak, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • cup dry red or white wine
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup pearled barley, rinsed
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.Season steak with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to the stockpot and cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, about 6-8 minutes; set aside.

  • Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.

  • Add garlic and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 3-4 minutes.

  • Stir in wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the stockpot.

  • Stir in beef stock, barley, thyme, bay leaf and steak. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until barley is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.*

  • Serve immediately.


*TO FREEZE: Let cool completely; portion into plastic freezer bags in individual servings, squeezing out any excess air before sealing. Lay the bags flat in a single layer in the freezer (this will help them freeze quickly). To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge, reheating over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

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posted on January 6, 2019under entree, freezer friendly, soup
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  1. Kris767 February 6, 2024 @ 6:18 PM Reply

    This soup is a 20 out of 10. It is definitely going in my recipe rotation.

  2. Barb Walters October 21, 2023 @ 3:46 PM Reply

    I’d like to be shut in during a snowstorm for a solid week with nothing to eat but this stew! It was a major hit with the family. Other than tossing the meat in a little flour, I followed the recipe as written. Really delicious!

  3. Trina October 14, 2023 @ 5:49 AM Reply

    Made this last night and it was fabulous! I did add 2 Tbs flour to the veggie mixture before deglazing to help thicken the stew/soup. We got about 7 servings from the recipe.

  4. Betsann Arbor June 10, 2023 @ 8:43 PM Reply

    Best beef & barley recipe I’ve ever tasted. Always gets rave reviews. I add a small can of tomato sauce, a pinch of cumin powder and small peice of ginger (minced) to add a pungent depth to the broth. The aroma & flavor is mouth-watering. The red wine just knocks this out of the park. Even reluctant soup eaters will love it.

  5. Agnes M Toenjes April 22, 2023 @ 11:29 AM Reply

    Just made the Beef and Barley Stew and was very disappointed! I used 1/6 cup vintager and 1/6 cup water for the wine. I did not have the fresh thyme . It needed more spices and salt which we are trying to cute way back. I will try it again. We loved the barley and vegies. Soooo???

  6. Sue February 3, 2023 @ 2:16 PM Reply

    I have a question – if I can’t eat mushrooms what can I use instead?

    • Jill December 7, 2023 @ 1:34 PM Reply

      If you cannot have mushrooms, leave them out. They are not that flavorful anyway.

  7. This was absolutely delicious! I made a fresh loaf of sourdough to go with it and wowzers!! An instant family favorite ❤️

  8. N Russell November 30, 2022 @ 6:55 AM Reply

    This turned out really well! I like easy recipes like this. This one is perfect for a cold winter night.

  9. Kathy August 3, 2022 @ 6:33 AM Reply

    Great way to use barley, and use any extra veggies.

  10. Marian Hughes May 11, 2022 @ 1:24 AM Reply

    A little confused here – is this a soup or a stew? Thanks 🙂

  11. Linda May 5, 2022 @ 10:29 AM Reply

    Absolutely delicious! So hearty. One of my favorite soups. Even though I live in FL we do have some cold weather which means soup time.

  12. Betty March 16, 2022 @ 5:47 PM Reply

    Haven’t tried your recipe yet but was wondering if I could exchange the beef for pork? I’m not a red beef eater but want to try this recipe. What’s your thoughts on substituting pork for the beef?

  13. Rachel January 19, 2022 @ 2:29 AM Reply

    This recipe was excellent, followed it precisely (maybe added a bit more beef and barley since we’re living in Europe and don’t have Imperial measuring cups)! Plus we enjoyed the excuse to drink the remaining red wine.

  14. Deborah D December 16, 2021 @ 2:55 PM Reply

    I had cooked beef shanks the night before into a delicious stew and had left overs. I have always been a huge fan of hearty soup So I decided to use my left overs to make a hearty beef soup. I used all leftover beef and bones along with any stew left overs from the shanks to create a hearty beef broth. The bones are golden as they release their delicious marrow into the broth. Added precooked barley to the liquid so I could control the amount. Added frozen fresh cut corn from the summer and frozen fresh tomatoes to the pot. Already had potatoes and onions from the previous stew. Delicious! Beef shanks are a very cost effective delicacy so keep an eye out for them!

  15. Kathleen October 25, 2021 @ 5:06 PM Reply

    Damn delicious alright! Seriously, probably the best soup I’ve ever made. Made exactly as the recipe stated except I floured the meat prior to browning. Made in my Instapot and cooked for 20 minutes. Outstanding!

  16. Thee glowaddict October 23, 2021 @ 5:08 PM Reply

    Great simple recipe.

    I used baby bella mushrooms, swapped farro for the barley, and added fresh kale in the last 5 minutes.


  17. Sprocket October 18, 2021 @ 3:13 AM Reply

    I made two separate batches, one to freeze, and didn’t change a thing. I thought that for all the ingredients it was a nice light soup. In fact, damn delicious! Thank you!

  18. Sm August 20, 2021 @ 9:19 PM Reply

    This was a beautiful recipe. I added bell peppers, green chilies, corn, ground beef l, Adobe spice and kidney bean just because I’m drunk. Delicious.

  19. Leatha Wood February 20, 2021 @ 10:47 AM Reply

    This was supposed to go in the freezer! My husband “doesn’t” like barley! This soup was devoured….. I’m making another batch as I type. The only thing I did differently was to add a beef bone to the stock. Definitely a keeper.!

  20. Faith Hoy January 28, 2021 @ 1:49 PM Reply

    This stew is amazing. I am not much of a cook and I really appreciate the simplicity of it as well as the straightforward instructions. I will make this over and over again.

  21. Georget January 28, 2021 @ 2:22 AM Reply

    Oout of this world ..only no mushrooms.i even had fresh thyme in the garage flower pot.

  22. Allen January 25, 2021 @ 4:37 AM Reply

    Thanks for this recipe! It was a big hit with the family. I made it just as written but left the lid askew to reduce the liquid, I like a thick stew. No leftovers at all.

  23. Jenny January 16, 2021 @ 1:59 PM Reply

    This recipe was amazing. The flavor was full and rich, made for amazing left overs the following day. The only things I did differently were: 1. Flouring the stew meat prior to browning them, it really helped thicken the stew nicely. 2. I used only about a 1/2 cup of red wine, lessened that typical “tang” which I preferred. 3. Increased the barely a little bit because I’m a sucker for grains.

  24. Aaron Johnson December 17, 2020 @ 4:08 PM Reply

    Oops. I boogered up and mixed the veggies in with the beef. I’ll let you know how it turns out. My guess is chewier beef.

  25. Christina Newell October 24, 2020 @ 2:29 PM Reply

    Yep, absolutely delicious!!! Super easy too:) A new family favorite!!!

  26. Bek August 28, 2020 @ 6:46 PM Reply

    We all loved it here. So filling and tasty. Will definitely make it again!

  27. Karen Ridges August 27, 2020 @ 3:40 PM Reply

    This was amazing. I substituted a chuck roast that I had in the freezer. Used baby bella shrooms and Better Than Bouillon for the Broth. And only did 6 cups of broth rather than 8. I also used hulless barley (I get it on Amazon) which upped the nutritional value. I used a Merlot for the wine (don’t be tempted to leave the wine out). Cooked in my Instant Pot pressure cooker for 20 minutes with a full natural release. Next time I may toss in a can or two of diced tomatoes with their juice. This was SO satisfying and filling. Kudos to the recipe developer. A true keeper!

  28. Stephanie Urquilla June 19, 2020 @ 3:04 PM Reply

    This is a delicious soup! I added crushed red pepper flakes to my second helping. This changed the flavor but also took it up another notch! Next time I will add it at the end of the cooking time. Thank you for the recipe.

  29. Leslie March 26, 2020 @ 10:13 PM Reply

    My husband loved your beef stew. However he thought it was more a soup. Next time I’ll make a roux to thicken it up. March 26, 2020 I’m in quarantine/safe at home in Los Angeles, during the Coronavirus. What a great time to finally to get to do what i enjoy doing….cook. I truly love your Damn Delicious recipes. My husband is extremely greatful to be on the receiving end of these awesome meals. And I am thankful for you sharing the daily antics of Butters and Cartman. They always bring a big smile to my face, and i truly need this especially during these scary times!!

  30. Corinne March 12, 2020 @ 10:11 AM Reply

    Love this Soup, but cant find the recipe , to make it again!! 🙁
    It’s like the link or part of the post is missing

  31. Evaleen Locke March 4, 2020 @ 7:27 AM Reply

    I haven’t tried this yet, but would like to make it in my crock pot. (I know OLD SCHOOL!) How would I adapt it?

  32. Andy Benzing March 4, 2020 @ 6:48 AM Reply

    Damn delicious stew! I followed the recipe exactly except for substituting venison steak for the beef. It turned out great and my family gobbled it up!

  33. Em February 11, 2020 @ 6:13 PM Reply

    What can I sub for the red wine? Or should I just omit, if I don’t want to use it?

  34. Sheree Alt February 9, 2020 @ 5:31 PM Reply

    This was wonderful! I added left over peas and corn. Delicious!

  35. Janet January 23, 2020 @ 1:41 PM Reply

    very, very, tasty

  36. Ali Batwin January 17, 2020 @ 2:26 PM Reply

    This recipe is AMAZING!! When do you recommend putting the beef back in? It’s not in the recipe?

    • Jana @ Damn Delicious January 17, 2020 @ 3:24 PM Reply

      Hi Ali, the beef is added back in during step 5: “Stir in beef stock, barley, thyme, bay leaf and steak. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until barley is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.*” Hope that helps!

  37. Scott December 26, 2019 @ 9:12 AM Reply

    We made this in our Instant Pot without changing any of the ingredients! Cooked on high for 20 mins. Fantastic soup for a cold night.

  38. Catherine Rees Lintzenich November 5, 2019 @ 4:35 PM Reply

    Insanely good. We loved it and will add it to monthly winter rotation!

  39. Jill Milliner March 2, 2019 @ 8:18 AM Reply

    This is a keeper! The house smelled incredible and the stew was delicious . Definitely will make again and again. I doubled recipe and used only 12 cups stock. It came out perfect! The barley needed to cook longer but I just kept trying it until it was done. Served it with a wonderful country loaf bread. Excited for the leftovers!! As I know it will be even better!!

  40. Shanny January 28, 2019 @ 9:42 AM Reply

    Excellent recipe. I dont keep wine in the house but came across a beef broth with red wine! Perfect.
    Thanks for this recipe

  41. Kristin January 22, 2019 @ 12:38 PM Reply

    This stew (soup) was Damn Delicious! I made about 1/2-2/3 of the recipe size for my hubby and me, and we got 1 dinner and 2 lunches out of it! And it just got better as the days went on! Will definitely make this again this Winter!

  42. Debbie January 18, 2019 @ 6:52 AM Reply

    What are the calories and nutritions for this recipe

    • Jana @ Damn Delicious January 18, 2019 @ 10:56 AM Reply

      Nutritional information is provided only for select recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, we recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information. Hope that helps!

  43. Tom January 13, 2019 @ 9:00 PM Reply

    Great flavors and textures. Didn’t change a thing but added a can of cannillini beans. Added this to my recipies of great soup.

  44. Mary Ann January 12, 2019 @ 4:33 PM Reply

    Mine came out more soup than stew as well and I used only 7 cups of broths not 8 – trying to cook off some of liquid with lid off but may add some Wondra to thicken

  45. Tammy January 11, 2019 @ 7:16 PM Reply

    What is Pearled Barley? And where exactly in the grocery store would I find it? Thank you.

    • Chungah @ Damn Delicious January 12, 2019 @ 8:17 AM Reply

      Pearl barley is the most common form of barley. It has been processed to remove its hull and bran. It can be found in the grain aisle with the rice, beans, couscous, quinoa, etc. I hope that helps, Tammy!

  46. Maggie January 9, 2019 @ 8:17 PM Reply

    I made this recipe tonight and wow is all I can say. the flavours are incredible. My husband loved it too. It’s a keeper. I did thicken it up abit as it was more like soup than stew but what a fantastic recipe. As well, I used dried thyme as I didn’t have fresh. thanks Chungah for another fantastic dinner idea.

    • Jana @ Damn Delicious January 10, 2019 @ 9:42 AM Reply

      Thanks, Maggie!

    • Patti Blask January 12, 2019 @ 2:10 PM Reply

      How much dried thyme? If this was summer, I’d have all the fresh thyme I need growing in my container garden!

      • Chungah @ Damn Delicious January 12, 2019 @ 6:34 PM Reply

        Patti, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme will yield roughly 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, depending on the size of the sprigs. Using the typical ratio of 1:3 dried to fresh, you would then want about 1 teaspoon dried thyme for every 2 sprigs of fresh thyme. I hope that helps!

  47. Diana January 9, 2019 @ 6:09 PM Reply

    So good. Well worth the time you spend anxiously waiting for the stew to finish cooking!

  48. Jennifer January 9, 2019 @ 9:54 AM Reply

    I made this for dinner last night. The kids and I really loved it! I left out the mushrooms and thyme because I am allergic, but even without these, it tasted GREAT!

  49. Michelle January 8, 2019 @ 12:15 PM Reply

    Quick question, what brand of beef stock do you like? Excellent recipe as usual!

    • Chungah @ Damn Delicious January 9, 2019 @ 3:53 PM Reply

      I do not have a certain kind that I prefer. Any brand should work just fine. Hope that helps, Michelle!

      • Michelle January 10, 2019 @ 9:25 AM Reply

        Thanks. This was really amazing stew.

  50. Suzanne January 7, 2019 @ 3:32 PM Reply

    Made it tonight! Wonderful. I did use half stock half broth because I didn’t have enough. Tasted great!

    • Jana @ Damn Delicious January 7, 2019 @ 4:48 PM Reply

      We’re happy you liked it!

    • Tracy February 13, 2021 @ 2:36 PM Reply

      My hubs does not like soup, but he loves beef stew so I cautiously brought this up to him hoping he would go for it LOL he was game so I made it tonight. I am not a fan of wine so I left that out and doubled the recipe. I did use roast that I cubed because I had it on hand and I coated the meat in flour for browning….glad I did it came out nice and thick just like we like it! Can’t wait to eat it again tomorrow! Be prepares for wondrous smells throughout the house! Couldn’t wait to eat it!!

  51. Riz | Chocolates & Chai January 7, 2019 @ 2:31 PM Reply

    Yes. Love this, I’ve been making similar concoction (that uses harissa to spice things up) for years now! Beef, barley, veggies…perfect for the winter! Thank you for sharing, Chungah 🙂

  52. R. Stewart January 7, 2019 @ 12:37 PM Reply

    I’m not a fan of mushrooms in soup. What can I sub for them, or should I just omit them?

    • Chungah @ Damn Delicious January 7, 2019 @ 3:12 PM Reply

      You can omit. 🙂

  53. Rhonda January 7, 2019 @ 8:46 AM Reply

    Haven’t tried it yet but was wondering about the timing of doing it in an Instant Pot.

    • Chungah @ Damn Delicious January 7, 2019 @ 10:22 AM Reply

      What a great idea! But unfortunately, without having tried this myself, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment when making substitutions and modifications.

    • Brenna January 7, 2019 @ 12:13 PM Reply

      My exact question. Any suggestions for time?

    • Annie B February 20, 2019 @ 9:22 AM Reply

      I just made mine yesterday in the IP and it was awesome (DELICIOUS recipe by the way!)j
      I sauteed everything as the recipe called for and once everything was put together, I used the soup function for 20 minutes. It was PERFECT. The barley was done but still had a bit of a bite to it, not all mushy. I let it release naturally about halfway before I got impatient and quick released the last 7 lbs of pressure.

Beef and Barley Stew Recipe - Damn Delicious (2024)
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