Beefy Barley Stew

I said Brr! It's cold in here! Must be some flurries in the atmosphere!

I totally forgot this movie existed until about 30 seconds ago. And what high school sports team didn't chant this cheer in the locker room before practice? I remember doing it during both softball and volleyball season and it was stupid and it was obnoxious and it was fun.

Anyway, it is SO COLD. Our thermostat said it was something outrageous like 11° degrees last night. I took one look at Clayton, who's recovering from some kind of flu/cold/his-body-hates-him-thing, and in unison we said, "Stew."

When I was writing out our menu for this week and making a list of things I needed from the grocery store, I knew I wanted to make something warm and soupy. So I asked Clayton to pick up a package of beef tips and various other things I assumed went into stew. I don't have a stew recipe, but it's not brain surgery, so I just winged it.

Lo' and behold! The stew was hearty, full of flavor and didn't need to cook for hours and hours in a slow cooker. I knocked the whole thing out on the stove in 45 minutes (minus time for forever chopping veggies.)

Courtney's Simple Beefy Barley Stew


  • 1 pound package of beef tips (or more if you like super chunky stew)
  • 4 cans of beef broth (or 2 cartons, depending on what your store has in stock around the holidays)
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • bag of celery, chopped
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup of quick barley oats
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped into fine pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano

For roux (broth thickening agent)

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup flour


  • Sear beef tips in a skillet until cooked almost the whole way through
  • Add beef to large pot and pour in broth. Stir in veggies, barley and seasonings. 
  • Let mixture come to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • While mixture is simmering, melt sick of butter in a small pan. Once the butter is melted, slowly add in the flour and whisk until a blonde paste forms.  Let the roux bubble slightly and then continue to whisk back into smooth paste. 
  • Slowly add the roux to the stew and stir thoroughly. Let stew continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. 

Should equate 6 adult servings (or 3 Courtney-sized servings). Serve with dinner rolls for maximum winter comfort food effect:

I found a killer recipe and made the above homemade buttery dinner rolls for my father-in-law's birthday dinner on Sunday, and we lucked out with some leftovers for our stew. But if you don't have time to make your own bread, store-bought is fine.