Red Wine Beef and Barley Stew

Red Wine, Beef and Barley Stew

Change is in the Air

I love it when the weather finally turns cold and we have a hankering for tender, rich and meaty stews.  In fact it has only turned cold here recently (we are in the southern hemisphere) and I love the crispness in the air and the refreshment after what is usually a warm and lingering autumn.  Filling meals are the order of the day so I am happy to devote a block of time on the weekend to produce some meals that tick all the boxes for this time of year. Red Wine Beef and Barley Stew really does it for me at this time of year and is worth spending a little longer (but not too long) preparing.

Slow cooked but pronto!

Have you ever struggled to make those hearty casseroles that demand to be cooked for hours to achieve the tenderness that is so necessary to make them enjoyable?  That is me to a ‘T’.  No time for this during the week. And the weekends, well, they aren’t much better once we get all the activities done and dusted.

Enter the pressure cooker.   I would be lost without mine.  It speeds up the process of producing a delicious, tender stew so much that I don’t know how I ever lived without one. Yes, I could use a slow cooker.  I know, but I don’t like to leave an appliance like that on for hours while I am out of the house and while a slow cooker would take 8 hours I can do the same meal in about an hour with the pressure cooker so it is even achievable for some weeknights when there is not too much on.  I love my pressure cooker and I have my husband to thank for converting me to using one.

Warm and Comforting
This stew reminds me of meals my mother would have made. Rich, tender and comforting. It is full of protein and fibre and the sweetness of vegetables like carrot, celery, tomatoes and mushrooms. I prefer to use grass fed beef as I believe it has added benefits from healthier and happier cattle.

Slow cooked? So fast!

So how do I make a slow cooked casserole in about an hour? My trusty pressure cooker comes to the rescue. I brown the meat in a frying pan with onions and garlic first, add some Worcestershire sauce and red wine for a rich taste. Add beef stock. Then I set the pressure cooker on the meat setting for about 15 – 20 minutes. Then I add the pearl barley with the recommended amount of stock and cook for another 15 minutes. I add the other vegetables and a little more stock if necessary and cook for a further 5 minutes. At the end I cook the casserole with the lid off for another 10 – 15 minutes to allow the flavours to develop and the sauce to reduce.

You will end up with a tender, rich stew that exceeds all your expectations for winter comfort food. And no one will know it hasn’t been cooking for hours!

How To Make Red Wine Beef and Barley Stew

How to Make Red Wine Beef and Barley Stew

Red Wine Beef and Barley Stew – find the recipe here

Red Wine Beef and Barley Stew

A rich, comforting stew that comes together in no time but tastes like it has taken all day to make. So good!

Course Main Course
Keyword Red Wine Beef and Barley Stew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Author Jane Georgiades


  • 2 brown onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 kg grass fed beef diced
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme, oregano or marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock/broth plus 1 cup extra
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 stick celery sliced
  • 8 button mushrooms quartered
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes


  1. Brown the meat in a little oil and add the onions and garlic and fry until soft. Poor over red wine until it sizzles and add the Worcestershire sauce.

  2. Add meat, onions and garlic and sauce to the pressure cooker. Just cover with water, place lid and set to the meat setting (2 on my pressure cooker) and cook under pressure for 15 - 20 minutes until very tender.

  3. Let the steam out of the pressure cooker and add barley and stock and replace lid and set to vegetable setting (1 on mine) and cook for about 15 minutes until barley is al dente.

  4. After letting the steam out add the vegetables with a little more stock if necessary and replace lid and cook under pressure for a further 5 minutes.

  5. After vegetables are cooked, remove lid and cook uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes to thicken sauces and meld the flavours.

  6. Serve with your favourite vegetables.

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