Feed Zone Table: Bison Stew with Barley and Belgian Beer

You can use beef, bison, or any lean red meat to make this hearty stew.

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Use our shortcut to peel pearled onions and enjoy the sweet flavor they add. If you don’t have the patience for that, dice up some yellow onions and spend your time finding a good Belgian beer instead.

  • Serves: 8
  • Nutrition: 330 calories



  • 2 pounds bison stew meat
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour mixed with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces pearl onions or 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt or Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 cup uncooked barley
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 12-oz. bottle of Abbey ale (divided)


  1. Step 1

    Lightly dust the stew meat with the mixture of flour, coarse salt, and pepper. Shake gently to remove extra flour. Lightly coat the bottom of a large stockpot with olive oil and bring to high heat. Add the stew meat, scraping the bottom of the pan as you brown the meat. (If you are using yellow onions in place of pearl onions, add them now and cook until translucent.) Cook until the meat has an even color on all sides, about 5–7 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Next add the tomato paste and celery salt or Old Bay seasoning and continue scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the mixture from sticking, stirring for 1–2 minutes more. Stir in the barley, letting the heat toast it slightly, then add the stock and half of the Abbey ale. Let simmer at a medium rolling boil, covered, for 30 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    If using pearl onions, add them now and half of the beer and let simmer another 30 minutes or until the bison is tender. If the opened beer has survived the wait, stir in the rest of it right before serving.

Per serving: Calories 330,  Protein 31 g, Carbs 31 g, Fat 8 g, Fiber 6 g, Sodium 826 mg

Adapted from Feed Zone Table: Family-Style Meals to Nourish Life and Sport by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim, with permission of VeloPress.

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