Double Beef and Barley Stew in the Crockpot

Updated on October 17, 2017
Melissa Althen profile image

Melissa is a Certified Food Scientist with over 20 years in the food industry. New food development and matching are her specialties.

Beef and Barley Stew

I have committed a meat crime. I listed stew meat as the ingredient in this recipe, but the truth is I didn't have stew meat on hand. I had two magnificent ribeyes a friend had given us. So yes, you can use stew meat, sirloin, or a filet. Stew and soup is all about using up whatever you have on hand.

I trimmed the ribeye of its fat (I saved the fat for other recipes and/or dog treats) and cut the meat into 1-inch cubes (see photo). You may be wondering why I trimmed the fat off the ribeye, and then cooked it in butter. I did this because I feel there is something magical about the flavor of raw flour cooked in butter.

Let's face it. Most of us don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. While this recipe contains a lot of red meat, I have pumped it full of nutrient-rich veggies. This hearty stew will cure what ails you.


  • 1 cup Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Rinsed and chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot, Sliced
  • 3 Green Onions, Sliced, white bottoms and green tops separated
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 bunch Spinach, Rinsed/Stems removed
  • 8 oz Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 14.5 oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 32 oz Beef Broth, Reduced Sodium
  • 1-2 lbs Stew Meat, Cubed (amount depends on how meaty you want the stew)
  • 8oz Beef Sausage, Sliced and quartered
  • 2/3 cup Red Wine
  • 1 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • To Taste Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Marjoram
  • 1/2 Cup Barley, Medium
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley


  1. Put the stew meat in a bowl and sprinkle the flour over it. Salt and Pepper. Turn with your hand until the flour is absorbed. In a large (nonstick) saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp butter to medium-high. Add the meat and turn to coat with the butter. Once coated let the meat sit, turning only occasionally, to develop browning. This step is not to cook the meat, necessarily, but to develop the flavor of browning meat.
  2. While the meat is cooking pour the beef broth, tomatoes, red wine, and water into a large crock pot. Add the bay leaf and spices. Transfer the browned stew meat to the crock pot.
  3. Lower the stove heat to medium, and put all of the vegetables except the green onion tops and spinach into the pan. Add the sausage. There should be some residual oil in the pan from the stew meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to develop some browning. The vegetables should not appear fully cooked, as they will cook in the crock pot. Add the garlic and toss for an additional minute. Transfer vegetables and sausage to the crock pot.
  4. Add the barley to the crock pot, stir, and cook on high for 3-1/2 hours. Add the spinach and parsley to the crock-pot and continue cooking on low until wilted - about 1 hour. The stew will hold over low heat until you're ready to eat. Use the green onion tops as garnish upon serving.

Veggies and Ingredients

The Meats!

Browning the Meat

Browning the Veggies with Sausage

© 2017 Melissa Althen


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    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 5 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

      Looks yum!