Bean and barley stew

As I opened my grandmother’s cook book I could feel the old yellow pages under my fingertips. Trying to recognize the faded out letters, I scribbled down the ingredients. Her recipes were always the same, her handwriting on any piece of paper she could find, just a few words, nothing specific like the recipes were a secrete. It felt like I was uncovering a story in between the lines, and there were so many recipes.

One of the recipes hidden in the pages was a recipe for bean and barley stew. As a kid I wasn’t a big fan, I can remember my mom laughing about it and teasing that she’ll make it for lunch even though we had it two days prior to that, it’s later that I found appreciation and love for stews. It’s amazing how you can make a stew from any vegetable or combination of vegetables and it will be tasty and most importantly healthy.

Bean & barley stew is delicious, it is a traditional dish and I hope that taking a spoonful of this stew will remind you of  your family as it did for me. Enjoy!

Preparation: 15 min                                  Cook time: 45 min                                  Servings: 4


  • 800 g can red beans
  • 500 g ham hock
  • 200 g barley
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 leaf laurel
  • 1 tsp red paprika
  • 1 tsp red chili
  • 2 tbsp pork fat/ oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


How to

  1. In a medium cooking pot boil the slightly salted water and cook the barley until soft.
  2. In a second pot cook the ham hock until soft, dry it and keep the water.
  3. In a third large pot heat the fat and add chopped onion, carrot and crushed garlic. Let it simmer until light brown. Add 1/2 of water from cooking the ham. Stir in red paprika, chili and the cooked barley. Let it cook for 10 to 15 min.
  4. Add meat, beans, the rest of the water if needed, laurel, salt and pepper. Let it cook for another 15 to 20 min. Serve warm.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. elliebleu says:

    I just dove into my grandmother’s recipe book for soups today. There’s nothing like a hearty soup that brings you back to your childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. chefkreso says:

      I totally agree!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. annika says:

    Very nice. It is very important to keep these old recipes going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. chefkreso says:

      Thank you and I agree !

      Liked by 1 person

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