Beef and barley casserole


  • Extra virgin olive oil spray
  • 800g (1lb 9oz) aberdeen angus diced braising steak
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp sundried Tomato Paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200ml (6½ fl oz) red wine
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tsp peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 400g (12½ oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 3 thyme sprigs 2 bay leaves
  • 75g (3oz)  pearl barley
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • Large handful of parsley, chopped
  • Seasonal vegetables, such as greens or cabbage, to serve


  1. Spray a large casserole with olive oil spray and warm over a high heat. Add the beef, in batches, and cook until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrot and a splash of water to the casserole and fry for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the sundried tomato paste and garlic and fry for a further minute.
  3. Return the beef to the casserole, pour in the wine, then add the stock cube, peppercorns, 500ml boiling water, the chopped tomatoes, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a low heat for 1 ½ hours.
  4. Add the pearl barley and simmer for a further 30 minutes until the beef and barley are very tender. Stir in the vinegar and parsley. Great served with buttered greens or cabbage.


Preparation time: 10 mins

Serves: 6

Nutrition: 299 calories, 10.9g fat, 6.2g sugar, salt 1.3g (sat fat 4g)



Most stews and casseroles benefit from a night in the fridge as the flavours really get a chance to develop. See here for a recommended side suggestion.