Beef Barley Stew is an old-fashion hardy stew that is so good, very flavorful, and comforting soup! Just like the old-fashion stew your grandma used to make. Cooking the meat until fork tender with the red wine vinegar and water gives this soup a complexity of flavors that you and your family will absolutely love. So dish up a bowl of this delicious hearty stew and enjoy yourself. I love a good beef and barley stew, don’t you?
This recipe, comments, and photo were shared with my by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.
3 pounds stew beef, cut into bite-sized pieces 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 2 cups water 2 teaspoons coarse salt 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced 2 ribs celery, diced 6 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 pound pearl barley* 1 cup Shiraz wine** 1 (8 ounces) can tomato paste 8 cups Beef Stock 2 bay leaves 5 dashes Worcestershire sauce 1/2 cup fresh parsley Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
* Pearl barley is barley that has been processed to remove its hull and bran. It is one of the world's oldest grains.
** You can substitute any red wine of your choice.
Place the stew beef, vinegar, water, and salt in a large pot. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is fork tender but not falling apart. Check on the meat now and then to make sure liquid does not evaporate, adding a little water if necessary. You want the resulting juice to be concentrated with flavor.
Always cook stews at low temperatures; the surface of the liquid should barely move. When you simmer very gently, the fat melts out of rich meats and mingles with the liquid. The dish can then be chilled, and the fat easily skimmed off.
After the stew beef is cooked, add garlic, onion, celery, carrots, wine, tomato paste, beef stock or broth, and bay leaves. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add barley and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check to make sure the barley is cooked, and then remove from heat.
Add Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt, and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaves before serving.