Preheat the oven to 350°F. Trim all of the fat from the beef and cut into ½-inch cubes. Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion. Add the beef cubes and brown them on all sides. Transfer the onion and beef to a 3-quart ungreased casserole and set aside. Combine the stock, herbs, and barley in the skillet and bring to a boil. Pour the stock mixture over the sautéed onion and beef, cover, and bake for 1 hour. Garnish with parsley and serve in shallow soup bowls with French bread.