Start simmering this robust fall stew in the morning, and its irresistible flavors will greet you at dinner time. Some slow cookers have a stovetop-safe insert, so you can do all the cooking in one pot. If yours does not, use a skillet and then transfer the ingredients to the slow cooker.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Season beef with salt and cook until pieces are browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker.

  • To the skillet, add remaining tablespoon oil, the garlic, and thyme and saute until fragrant, 1 minute. Add 2 cups broth and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.

  • Add potatoes, squash, barley, 2 cups water, and remaining 2 cups broth to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until meat is very tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low). Using two forks, shred beef. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook's Notes

Cold Comfort
Freeze leftovers as individual servings for quick lunches or dinners later.

Reviews (7)

156 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 26
  • 4 star values: 52
  • 3 star values: 55
  • 2 star values: 18
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
Loved this recipe. Really easy to prepare and very flavourful. Love the combo of squash and barley, really makes for a comforting bowl of warm yumminess!
Rating: 3 stars
I think the flavor was pretty good, but it is more of a soup than a stew. I added an onion, think I would add more veggies if I make it again. I think either less liquid or more barley to absorb some of the liquid. I didn't have quite enough broth so I added some white wine, I think it was a nice addition. I would also like more meat in it.
Rating: Unrated
My family loved it and ask for it instead of traditional beef stew. Go figure. It is really starchy...
Rating: Unrated
I did not care for the taste at all. However, my husband had two bowls. Tasted like I was eating fat. Removed a lot of the fat before cooking. Strange taste.
Rating: 1 stars
This really should be called Beef and Starch Stew. It isn't very flavorful and is great need of some non-strachy vegetables. I love most MS recipes, but this one needs work.
Rating: Unrated
Easy to make and delicious!
Rating: Unrated
very good, everyone in family liked it!