This Hearty Beef and Barley Soup is the perfect meal for the cooler, and soon-to-be colder months. It is a full meal in a bowl, with hearty chunks of tender beef, plenty of veggies, and wholesome pearled barley. It is rich and flavorful and just what we all want on a chilly evening. My favorite kind of food for my favorite time of year. Serve it with some warm, crusty bread and good, salted butter, a glass of red wine or a rich, dark beer and you’ve got yourself the perfect, coziest dinner.
- 2–3 pounds stew meat (nicely marbled beef chunks)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 10 cups water
- 1 cup wine, red or white
- 3 mounded tablespoons beef stock concentrate (I recommend Better than Bouillon)
- 3 stalks celery (about 2 cups), chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2–3 bay leaves, fresh or dried
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
- 1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and shredded, about 2 cups
- 3-4 large carrots, peeled and shredded, about 2 cups
- 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- Generously salt and pepper the beef. In a large stockpot or dutch oven (I use a huge cast iron dutch oven), heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- When the pan is very hot and the oil begins to smoke a bit, add about 1/3 of meat in a single layer. Don’t crowd the pan. Brown for about 1-2 minutes, then turn to brown the other side. Remove to a plate when it is browned on all sides.
- Repeat with remaining meat until all meat is browned.
- When all the meat is browned, add all the meat back to the pot with water, wine, and beef base.
- Add the chopped celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 2 hours with the lid on but partially cracked.
- When the meat is tender and you can break it apart easily with a wooden spoon, add the shredded potato, carrots, and barley.
- Continue to simmer until barley is tender, about another 45 minutes to one hour.
- If you find the soup becoming too thick, just add a bit more water.
Let your pan get smoking hot before you begin browning the meat. Throw open the windows and turn on the exhaust fan. It’s worth it.
I used red wine, but feel free to use whatever you have. A dark beer would be good too! Or just leave the alcohol out. It will still be delicious!
If you are looking for a slow cooker version, go check out Karen’s recipe!
Keywords: beef and barley soup, soup, hearty soup