Serves: 6

Time: c. 3 hours (preparation + cooking)

When it’s cold outside and you need something to take the chill off, there’s nothing quite like the warm hug-like satisfaction that a stew can bring in the winter months. This hearty beef and barley stew recipe, from our Hillier Development Chef, could become a firm favourite for those times that you feel a little hibernation is in order.


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1kg diced chuck steak
  • 350g diced onions
  • 350g carrots, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
  • 350g celery – cut into 2cm pieces
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250ml red wine
  • 700ml beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75g barley


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

2. Coat the beef in the flour. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Place a layer of flour-coated beef in the pan, turning so the beef browns all over. Do not add too much beef at a time or it will boil in its juices, rather than fry. Once browned, place the beef in a casserole dish and continue with the next batch until all the beef is browned and in the casserole dish. Add a little more oil each time, if required.

3. In the same pan used to brown the beef, add the vegetables, thyme and bay leaves. Gently cook for 10 minutes, stirring to prevent the vegetables from catching.

4. Add the wine to the pan with the vegetables. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and continue cooking until the liquid reduces by half. Once done, add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning. Bring everything to the boil and pour into the casserole dish with the beef.

5. Put the casserole dish lid on and cook in the oven for an hour. Remove from the oven, stir in the barley, put the lid back on and continue to cook in the oven for a further hour. Check to ensure the meat is tender and cook further if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

6. Serve with buttery mash, steamed greens or braised red cabbage.

Ingredients from your own garden

Quickly venture out into the cold to grab some of those herbs from your herb planter. You might also have some onions left over from your harvest if they were stored correctly.

>> Download Beef and Barley Stew Recipe