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Beef Barley Stew || Instant Pot

This warm bowl of beef barley stew is sure to warm you up on a chilly day! Be sure to make an extra-large batch as this stew freezes really well and tastes even better the next day.

I recently purchased the Instant Pot and have been trying out different recipes. I made this stew using it and the beef was perfectly tender and the vegetables didn’t turn to mush. If you don’t have an Instant Pot you can prepare this on your stove top or your slow cooker with ease.

stew bowl

You’ll notice I’m using water instead of beef broth and have not included any flavoring cubes. I find that store bought broths and flavoring cubes generally contain MSG and excess sodium. I prefer using extra veggies, fresh herbs and spices and sea salt to my own taste. Trust me if you try making this stew you won’t be disappointed with the flavor!


  • 1 – 1.5 kg stewing beef
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 celery pieces chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 – 6 medium sized potatoes chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 cups plum tomatoes blended
  • 4 cups of water (7 cups if using uncooked barley)
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary or (1 tsp dried)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 cups cooked barley (or 1.5 cups uncooked barley)
  • 1 cup frozen peas defrosted (add in at the end of cooking)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Step 1: Using “sauté” function on Instant Pot, add a swirl of olive oil and sauté beef until browned slightly.

Step 2: Add in chopped vegetables (except for frozen peas) and garlic, continue to sauté for a few mins.

Step 3: Add in rosemary, bay leaves, barley, purred plum tomatoes and water.

Step 4: Remember to season with salt and pepper along the way at each of the steps above. Select “cancel” on the Instant pot, then select “soup/broth”. When time is up let the pressure, come down naturally before lifting lid.

Step 5: Add in defrosted peas and place lid back on and “keep on warm” for 10 mins.

Guided Wellness Tip: When making soups, chili or stews like this one be sure to make an extra-large batch so you can enjoy the meal again as a quick reheat on a busy weeknight, use the leftovers for lunch or freeze a batch and start creating your own handy FREEZER STASH of meals.

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