Pot barley, also called Scotch barley, retains the outer layers of the grain (these are removed in the milling of pearl barley), so it contains the nutrients of the whole grain.
The barley grain contains gummy fibers called beta-glucans, which appear to have significant cholesterol-lowering properties.
Beef is an excellent source of iron in a form that can be efficiently absorbed and used by the body.
Some More Ideas:
The gravy is thick. If you prefer it slightly thinner, stir in an extra 1/2 cup beef stock 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
For Slowly Braised Lamb and Barley, use lean boneless stewing lamb, such as from the shoulder, instead of beef. Marinate the lamb overnight in 1 cup hard cider mixed with 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon light molasses, and 1 teaspoon soft dark brown sugar. Dry and fry the lamb as for the beef in the main recipe. Add 1 sliced onion to the Dutch oven and cook until beginning to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the barley and stir 1 minute. Pour in 1 cup lamb or vegetable stock, i cup tomato juice, and the marinade, with 1 sprig fresh rosemary. Cover and braise 45 minutes. Stir in 8 ounces baby carrots and 1 cup halved or quartered, peeled small turnips. Braise until all the ingredients are tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Per serving: calories 367, protein 31 g, fat 10 g (of which saturated fat 3 g), carbohydrate 29 g (of which sugars 18 g), fibre 5 g