Cut the beef into bite-sized chunks and season with 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and garlic each. Add to a hot skillet for a few seconds. Just long enough to give it a good sear, but be careful not to cook it all of the way through.
Add the seared beef to the bottom of your slow cooker then add the rest of your ingredients making sure that you add the beef stock last.
Cook on low for 6 hours stirring occasionally and checking the vegetables and barley for tenderness. If at the 5 hour mark they are tender to your satisfaction, then turn off the heat and serve. Remove Bay leaf before serving and serve with a piece of crusty bread!