I have had a couple of readers ask me for a hearty stew/fall dish to make. I wrote down the things that I wanted to see in my stew. Beef – Beef stew is the way to go. Barley – My neighbor growing up always used to make us a barley stew and it was a must. Finally – Beer – Why not. I put it in everything else. Actually it could be called Quadruple “B” Stew as I started with Bacon. Mouth watering yet? Well here is a pic.

You can't beat Beef, Barley and Beer
You can't beat Beef, Barley and Beer

I served it over a freshly made biscuit. Awesome!!

Triple “B” Stew

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 32 oz container of beef stock
  • 2 – 12 oz cans of beer – dark or light – pick your flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 1 turnip diced
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut in cubes
  • 1 cup green peas, frozen, thawed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 tbs fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup pearled barley
  • A little flour and water for thickening

The first step is to dice up the bacon and start rendering it over medium/high heat.  Cook until it is just getting crispy, 5-10 minutes. While the bacon is cooking coat the stew meat with 3 tbs of flour. 

When the bacon is just getting crispy add the stew meat and brown, season with a little salt and pepper, 5-10 minutes. 

Brown the beef, I know it looks like a lot, and it is
Brown the beef, I know it looks like a lot, and it is

While the stew meat is browning dice up your vegetables. 

Nice assortment of veggies
Nice assortment of veggies

When the meat is browned add all of the vegetables minus the peas.  Place in the pot and stir.  Next add another pinch of salt, some fresh cracked pepper, the bay leaf and thyme.Allow to cook until the vegetables start to soften, 20 minutes. 

Time to season
Time to season

Now time for the second “B”.  Add one beer to the pot and crack the second one for yourself.  You deserve it.Once the beer is added, stir the pot to dissolve the foam.

Beer makes everything better
Beer makes everything better

Next add the beef stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes.  Stir every once in a while.

There still might be a little foam.  That beer is some frothy stuff.
There still might be a little foam. That beer is some frothy stuff.

Next add the third “B”, Ladies and Gentleman, welcome Barley to the mix.  Add the barley, cover and continue to let simmer for another 30 minutes.

Pearl Barley - Adds a great flavor and texture to the stew.
Pearl Barley - Adds a great flavor and texture to the stew.

Now add the peas.  At this time you can also add a little flour and water to thicken the mix, if you like thicker stews.  I appreciate a nice thick and hearty stew so I added a couple of tbs of flour to a couple of tbs of water.  Mixed it up with a fork in a small bowl and then dumped it into the pot.  Continue to let simmer for 20 minutes.

A hearty stew full of beef and beer
A hearty stew full of beef and beer

The stew is ready.  Serve it over fresh biscuits, rice, mashed potatoes, or even straight up. 

– This stew also works great a in a crock-pot.  Render the bacon in a large pan, brown the meat, add the garlic, celery and onion and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes.  Dump the whole mixture into a crockpot.  Add the herbs, seasoning, beer and beef stock.  Turn on low and cook for 7 hours.  An hour before you serve, turn the crockpot to high, add the barley and peas.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. Dude. Miller Lite? In stew? How about a nice porter or something?

    At least a lager!

    I actually love miller lite to drink… not sure about the cooking…

    • Nick, You have to use what you have. A lager or a porter would be great, but the average person doesn’t have that lying around. Miller Lite is a great beer, for the money.

  2. Quit reminding me it's fall!

    Seriously though, it looks like it came out excellent. Beer is always good, it ends up in the cook one way or another.

    • Sorry to remind you that it is fall, Chris. I agree, Beer is always good.

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