In a medium size pan, add 2 cups of water, 1/2 lb. of barley grain and 1 tbsp. of salt, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, cook until tender- then remove from pot.
Add beef to the same pan, cook until golden brown. Add garlic, cumin, pepper, sautéed vegetables, beef stock, beef base and 1 cup of water. Simmer for 40 minutes.
Add barley, heat for 10 minutes. Serve.