Beef and Barley Stew

The show: Game of Thrones

The recipe: Beef and Barley Stew

The story: I love Game of Thrones’ complicated stories, and am so glad the fourth season began last night. In honor of the show, I checked out the official food blog of Game of Thrones, The Inn at the Crossroads. Game of Thrones fans are so intense, they have created an official cookbook and corresponding blog! Yet another reason for me to love the show.

I chose this recipe in an attempt to branch out in my cooking. I rarely prepare meat, and I have never made any kind of soup or stew. While the blog had tons of recipes to choose from, I figured I would rather have this stew than some other options like boiled beans or venison pies.

This stew comes from the North of the Game of Thrones realm, where it is always cold. According to the recipe. the stew is supposed to thicken with the barley, which my version didn’t do very well. I added flour to try and compensate, but it still wound up being more of a soup than a stew. Nevertheless, it still tasted good! I was pleased with how it turned out.

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  • 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into small pieces
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced small
  • ~10 whole pearl onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 6 cup water
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs. each butter and flour for roux (optional)

Put half the butter into saute pan, and brown the beef. Set aside. Add the rest of the butter, along with the mushrooms, carrots, onions, and garlic.

Saute for just a few minutes until the mushrooms are soft, making sure that the veggies get completely covered with butter.

Combine the meat, vegetables, and all other ingredients in a large pot. Simmer over medium heat for at least an hour, adding extra water or broth as the barley soaks it up. The starch from the barley will thicken the soup somewhat, but if you’d like it thicker, add a roux.

Melt the butter, and add flour. Stir to combine as the mixture until the color is golden. Add a ladle of broth, stirring all the while, then pour the whole mixture into the main pot.


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