Beef and Barley Stew

  • Servings: 8
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2 hours
  • Cost per serving: $2.50
  • Storage: 3 days in the fridge. Can be frozen.
  • Kitchen tools: Measuring cups and spoons, cutting board, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, large pot, plate, can opener, wooden spoon
  • This original recipe was developed by Extenso—the Université de Montréal reference centre on human nutrition.
Fondation OLO | Recette | Ragoût de boeuf et orge


  • 20 ml (4 tsp) canola oil (divided: 7.5 ml [1½ tsp] + 7.5 ml [1½ tsp] + 5 ml [1 tsp])
  • 725 g (about 1.5 lb) stewing beef cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) mustard powder
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) paprika
  • 1.5 litre (6 cups) water
  • 1 can (796 ml) whole tomatoes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) dry pearl barley
  • 500 g (1 lb) butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 500 ml/2 cups, once diced)
    Keep the remaining squash for another recipe.
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped into large chunks


1. Heat 5 ml (1½ tsp) of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef cubes and cook until browned on all sides. Add salt and pepper and set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef cubes and set aside.

2. Heat 5 ml (tsp) of oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the garlic, mustard powder, paprika, water, tomatoes, salt and pepper.

4. With a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot and crush the tomatoes.

5. Add the beef cubes that were set aside. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour.

6. Add the barley, squash and celery and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Tip: Use the cooking time to prepare your side dishes.

Variation: Instead of the squash, you can use any vegetable of your choice (carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, rutabaga, for example).

Nutritional balance

This recipe provides foods from the following food groups:

  • Grain products
  • Meat and alternatives
  • Vegetables

Serve with:

  • Vegetables (salad or cooked vegetables, for example) to round out the serving, and a fruit
  • A grain product for dessert (cookies, for example) to round out the serving
  • A glass of milk or fortified soy beverage