Beef, Barley and Mushroom Broth Beef, Barley and Mushroom Broth

Beef, Barley and Mushroom Broth

This warming beef borth is a must for the even colder evenings ahead.  Slow cooked beef cubes or portions, stock, onions, mushrooms, fresh herbs and pearl barley make the ultimate comfort dish. Serve with warm crusty bread and seasonal vegetables.

prep time
15 mins

cook time
3 hours

6 people


  • 6 x 150g beef shank portions or 675g/1½lb boneless beef shin, cut into 2.5cm/1inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 30ml/2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 200ml/7fl oz. cider
  • 1.4L/2pints good, hot vegetable stock
  • 1.4L/2pints good, hot beef stock
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 100g/4oz pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 250g/9oz chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • Extra thyme leaves, to garnish


  1. Put the beef in a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick pan and cook the beef portions for 3-4 minutes until brown all over.  Cook the beef in two batches if using diced cubes. Transfer to a large flame/heatproof ovenproof casserole dish with a lid.

  3. Add the cider, stocks, thyme and bay leaves to the casserole dish.

  4. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer on the hob for 1½hours.  Add the pearl barley, cover and continue to cook for a further 1½hours for cubes, or 2 hours for shank portions, stirring occasionally.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in the same frying pan and cook the onion for 10-15 minutes until caramelised under a low heat.  Remove from the heat and stir through the mushrooms.

  6. During the last 5-10 minutes of the cooking time add the onions and mushrooms to the broth.

  7. Serve with crusty bread and or seasonal vegetables.


Any remaining stew tastes even better the following day. Remove from the fridge and heat until piping hot throughout before serving.