Slow-cooker beef and barley stew

Serve home economist Barb Holland's warming, comforting stew over mashed potatoes or with crusty whole grain bread.




  • Trim any excess fat from beef and cut any large pieces into smaller pieces.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef until browned (in 2 batches if necessary). Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Add remaining oil to skillet, then add onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook a few minutes, until lightly softened.
  • Stir in barley, broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, thyme and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then pour into slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low. 8 to 10 hours (or on high for 4 to 5 hours), until beef and barley are tender.
  • Turn off slow cooker, stir in peas and let stand 10 minutes to heat peas.