I just stocked up the pantry on both pearled and hulled barley grains and they really are interchangeable in this recipe. The pearled variety cooks in approximately 45 minutes while the hulled barley needs a good hour or more since only the outermost hull has been removed. If for some reason barley isn’t your thing you can of course replace it with farro, potatoes or dumplings. As I like to say kids: whatever rocks your tastebuds!
TVP or “ textured vegetable protein” is a very convenient meat alternative product made from non-GMO soy flour with a meaty texture that absorbs any flavor you have going on in the pot. Remember this insanely tasty vegan bolognese ?Alternatively you could use portobello or shiitake mushrooms, sietan or jackfruit as I’ve done in this potato jackfruit stew from last fall.
Feel free to play around with the ratio of barley and beefy TVP. If you want a meatier stew I’d suggest adding maybe another half cup of TVP but not much more. This is the kind of recipe you’ll find yourself adjusting through the seasons so don’t get stuck on exact measurement.
Any store bought low sodium veggie stock will work here, of course a homemade version will always taste better. So If you have the luxury of time by all means start with a big pot of stock filled with aromatics and herbs.
The usual suspects in my kitchen are carrots, onion, celery, bay leaves, parsley and celery root. Finish with a generous amount of nutritional yeast after simmering slowly for a couple of hours until the flavors have concentrated. Strain and freeze into large ice cube trays for later individual use.
Why we love this vegetarian beef stew:
Watch How to Make the Best Barley Vegan Beef Stew:
Barley Vegan Beef Stew Recipe
- 2 cups beefy TVP (use soy curls instead to make it Plantricious)
- 1.5 cups barley pearled or hulled
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 carrots sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 2 celery ribs sliced
- 1 sprig rosemary or 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 leaves bay
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast optional
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 10 cups vegetable stock (no salt)
- 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes lightly crushed
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
- S & P to taste
- Preheat a heavy bottom stock pot over medium heat. Add a splash of water or veggie stock and sautee the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent. Add the carrot and celery and cook a few more minutes until they begin to soften. (Add more liquid if needed to create more steam).
- Add the garlic and give everything a good stir until the garlic is fragrant. Sir in the smoked paprika, chili powder, bay leaves and rosemary.
- Add the beefy TVP or soy curls, barley, crushed tomatoes, veggie stock and nutritional yeast then bring everything to a simmer. Cook on medium low heat for 45 minutes to one hour until the barley is cooked through and the TVP has reached your desired tenderness.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and the heat level with more chili powder or chili flakes. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve hot with crusty bread. (If you want to indulge with a drizzle of olive oil feel free to do so at this point, omit for Whole Food Plant Based and Plantricious diets).
- To make it 100% Plantricious & WFPB compliant make sure to use soy curls instead of TVP.
- If the stew turns out too thick for your liking just add more veggie stock to thin it out as desired.