2/3 cup uncooked barley
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
1 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Soak the barley in warm water for 3 hours, then drain and set aside.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in the ground beef and onion. Cook and stir until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain and discard any excess grease, then stir in the carrots, soy sauce, molasses, drained barley, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir until the molasses has dissolved and the mixture has begun to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then pour into a lidded 2 quart casserole.
Bake, covered, in the preheated oven until the barley is tender and has absorbed the water, about 1 hour.