Chef John's Beef and Barley Stew


This beautiful bowl of beef and barley would be perfect for your next super-storm. When it comes to stick-to-your-ribs stews, it doesn't get any better than shank. There's so much gelatin-producing connective tissue, that it makes an especially satisfying sauce for your meat and grain.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
4 servings


  • 2 thick slices beef shank

  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 4 cups chicken broth, or more as needed

  • cup diced celery

  • cup diced carrots

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

  • ½ cup pearl barley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated raw horseradish, or to taste


  1. Season beef all over with kosher salt and black pepper.

  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat. Cook beef in hot oil until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate.

  3. Reduce heat to medium, and stir onion into the same pot with a pinch of salt. Cook and stir until onion is soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir garlic into onion; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Stir tomato paste into onion mixture; cook and stir until tomato paste is brick red, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour broth into onion mixture. Add celery, carrots, bay leaf, and rosemary. Return beef with any accumulated juices to pot; push beef down to cover with cooking liquid.

  5. Bring broth mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until beef is fork-tender, 2 to 3 hours. Transfer beef to a bowl.

  6. Pour barley into cooking liquid, bring to a simmer, and cook until barley is tender, about 45 minutes. Return beef to pot, cover the pot, and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with parsley and horseradish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

339 Calories
14g Fat
27g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 339
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 1200mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 11mg 56%
Calcium 64mg 5%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 656mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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