When I think of this Crockpot Beef and Barley Stew, I immediately think of Ronnie.
Ronnie is my father-in-law…and he absolutely loves meat. Let me quickly paint a picture of Ronnie for you. He lives up a canyon here in Utah, and spends a large majority of his time chopping wood for his wood-burning furnace. He’s a stocky Mexican man who’s usually sporting a salt and pepper beard or goatee. Back in the day, he was a pro boxer, and he still has that cocky “don’t-mess-with-me-or-I’ll-beat-you-up” kind of attitude. But with that said, he’s also one of the most hardworking, thoughtful and generous people I know. And like I said before, he loves meat.
Ronnie invites us over all summer long for BBQ’s in his backyard. He grills up hot dogs, burgers, steaks and chicken, with hearty dutch-oven potato skillets on the side. However, when things get too snowy and cold, he whips up a big pot of beef stew for all of us to enjoy.
This stew recipe is quite possibly the best because it’s made in a CROCKPOT! Three cheers for things that do our work for us! Just throw in some ingredients and press go, add a few more things towards the end, and voila! A Ronnie-approved stew packed with meat, veggies and barley. For this recipe, I used homemade bone broth, but of course you can substitute it with a mixture of beef and chicken stock.
Whether you’re stuck in a frozen tundra like we are here in Utah, or you’re enjoying the hot weather and sun of Cali or Arizona, you can never go wrong with a hearty, meaty stew that practically makes itself!
- 1.5 pounds stew meat (marbled beef works great)
- Kosher salt and seasoned pepper
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 5 cups bone broth OR 3 cups beef stock and 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 stalks celery (about 1 cups), chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced (3-4 cloves)
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cups barley
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup packed parsley, chopped plus more for topping
- If not already cubed, cut the meat into large chunks. Bring the meat to room temperature and generously season with salt and seasoned pepper on all sides.
- In a large skillet pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat in batches for 1-2 minutes, turning until each side is browned. *If you brown all the meat at once, it will reduce the heat of the pan and end up steaming the meat instead of browning it, which is not what you want.
- Remove the meat and put in a crockpot.
- In the same pan used for browning the meat, add the tomato paste and heat until bubbling. Add 1 cup of the bone broth OR beef stock and stir around, collecting the meat drippings and mixing in the tomato paste. Transfer to the crockpot.
- Add the rest of the broth to the crockpot. Add the oregano, chopped celery, onions, and garlic and stir.
- Cook on low for about 6 hours. Add the sweet potatoes and carrots and cook for about 30 minutes.
- Add the barley and simmer for another hour or so, until barley is tender.
- Once the barley is tender, stir in the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, peas and additional salt and pepper if needed. Simmer for 10 more minutes and serve.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase a product from a link, we receive a portion of the earnings. This doesn’t affect your price in any way, and we appreciate your help to keep Kiwi and Carrot up and running!