beef stew with grains

Ancient Grains Beef Stew

Last Updated on March 4, 2022

This easy-to-assemble slow cooker stew is everything you want on a cold day. Hearty and heartwarming, it’s packed full of tender chunks of beef, two ultra-wholesome ancient grains, and a host of wintry root vegetables. 

beef stew with grains and carrots

Ancient Grains Beef Stew

4.08 from 90 votes
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Protein: Beef
Cut: Steak Tips
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Author: Nevin Martell


  • 2 pounds ButcherBox steak tips cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 8 large carrots peeled and sliced into ½-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 medium-large yellow potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground sage
  • ½ cup pearled barley
  • ¼ cup bulgur cracked wheat
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and sear the beef until it’s browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the beef into a large slow cooker.
  • Add the beef broth and wine; stir to incorporate fully.
  • Add the carrots, garlic, potatoes, onion, tomato paste, mustard, thyme, oregano, sage, barley, bulgur, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 2 more hours, or until the beef is so tender it separates easily when poked with a fork.
  • Remove bay leaf. Top with sour cream or labneh, if desired, and serve.
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Nevin Martell is a D.C.-area based food and travel writer, parenting essayist, recipe developer, and photographer whose work has appeared in The Washington PostNational Geographic, FortuneTravel + Leisure, and many other publications. His eight books include Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Gold-Standard Recipes from America's Favorite Rural Bakery and The Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food & DrinkIt’s So Good: 100 Real Food Recipes for KidsFind him on Instagram @nevinmartell, on Twitter @nevinmartell, and online at