Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Stew

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chef dezs slow cooker beef and barley stew

Slow cookers are a great tool in the kitchen. I really enjoy drinking the apple cider at Lepp’s and so I decided to cook with it. The cider, along with beef paste, and the juice from the canned tomatoes, provides a tasty broth. Major brand beef paste is available in the cold case at Lepp’s and is a great supply of concentrated broth. One teaspoon of paste, mixed with one cup of water will make one cup of broth; however, instead of water I decided to use apple cider and liquid from the tomatoes which makes for a more complex flavour. I hope you enjoy this easy to make fall comfort food.


680g (1.5 pounds) beef stew meat
3 tbsp canola oil
Salt & pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced lengthwise, then ½ inch pieces
2 celery stalks, sliced ½ inch pieces
8 to 10 garlic cloves
3 tbsp apple cider

8 medium mushrooms, quartered
2 to 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 tsp Major brand beef paste
½ cup pearl barley
1 – 798ml can diced tomatoes
2 cups apple cider

  1. Preheat a large pan over medium-high heat. In a bowl toss beef pieces with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and brown each piece of meat without crowding the pan – you may have to brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches. When each batch of meat is browned transfer to the slow-cooker.
  2. Turn off the heat to the pan and add the onions, carrot, celery, garlic and the 3 tablespoons of apple cider to the pan. Stir until the pan has cooled and the vegetables have cooked slightly, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer this vegetable mixture to the slow-cooker.
  3. To the slow-cooker add the mushrooms, rosemary, bay leaves, beef paste, barley, tomatoes (with juice) and the apple cider.
  4. Turn the slow-cooker on low and cook for approximately 8 to 10 hours.
  5. Remove and discard the bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Makes approximately 12 cups

Recipe created by Chef Dez