1. Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add meat and brown. Pour in water and red wine (or broth/vinegar mixture) and simmer for approximately 1 hour.
2. Remove beef and cut into bite-size pieces. Skim fat and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid; discard remaining liquid.
3. Melt butter in the stockpot. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute until tender. Stir in garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in beef broth and add thyme, basil, bay leaf, beef and reserved cooking liquid. Simmer for 20-30 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add barley and mushrooms and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.