Lamb & Barley Stew

Lamb & Barley Stew | Lamb & Barley Stew | Print

Lamb & Barley Stew

This simple comforting barley stew recipe will warm you up.  This dish is ready in ~ 30-45 minutes but can also be cooked in the crock-pot for 8 hours.  Don’t like lamb?  Substitute boneless/skinless chicken thighs or chunks of chuck roast and shred it easily after it’s cooked.  What’s the difference between stew and soup?  Stew is barely covered with liquid and is much thicker than soup.  Add more broth if you want it “soupier”.

  • Author: beckie
  • Prep Time: 45 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop / Oven / Crockpot /Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: International


  • 2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed & cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped – as garnish
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • Dice lamb and lightly salt & pepper.
  • Bring a large pot (I prefer a 6 quart dutch oven) to medium high heat and add the lamb in batches (overcrowding the pan will cause the lamb to steam & not brown).  Sear 6-8 minutes or until brown.  Remove lamb from pan with slotted spoon (leaving any drippings in pan) and set aside.
  • Add onions, carrots, and celery to the pan.  Reduce heat if super hot and cook 5-7 minutes or until veggies are soft & translucent.  Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add chicken broth and bay leaves, cover, and bring to a boil.  Add pearl barley, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook covered ~ 30 minutes.  Add lamb (and any juice) and green beans and cook ~ 10 minutes or until barley is soft but chewy and green beans are cooked to your liking.
  • Add salt to taste.  Spoon into bowls and garnish with parsley.  Happy stewin’!  beckie


  • Don’t want to cut up green beans or don’t like them?  Buy frozen green beans and/or substitute frozen peas.
  • Ran out of broth but want the stew thinner?  Add some water instead.


Things In My Kitchen:

  • 6 quart dutch oven for stewing / braising the lamb for 45 minutes
  • A crock-pot when I just want to throw everything in and walk away for 8 hours.

For more kitchen items I love/use: please visit my shop page.

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Keywords: Lamb, Barley, Braised, One Pot Meals, St Patricks Day, Dairy Free, Comfort Food

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Lamb & Barley Stew

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