It is so cold outside that you can throw a cup of water into the air and it will turn into snow and fall to the ground. It has been that way for a week. And there’s only one thing to do. Stay in and cook — and eat something hot, hot, hot. Enter a twist on beef stew — no more heavy potatoes and cooked-to-death carrots. How about some sweet, creamy chunks of butternut squash instead? Don’t be scared! It’s delicious..
Super Simple Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
2 lbs. beef stew meat (it says this on the package at the grocery store)
1 lb. butternut squash (about the same amount as the beef once it’s all sliced and diced)
3 cups beef broth (If you buy a carton or can at the store, read the label. There are a few out there without sugar. Kitchen Basics beef broth in a box is all real ingredients with a touch of honey.)
1/2 – 1 medium onion (whatever you have in the house will work)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
Optional: add a cup of leftover rice or quinoa to thicken
Dice up the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Add some olive oil to hot dutch oven or big pot, and sautee the onion and garlic until soft. Crush or chop up the rosemary and add it to the pot. Take onions off the heat while you prepare the rest of the stew.
The stew meat comes in big chunks. Be sure to cut it into smaller pieces, about an inch square. Salt and pepper it. Then heat up a big frying pan, and drop the beef chunks onto it so the outside sizzles and sears. Flip the pieces over as they brown, but make sure they aren’t steaming in their own juices. Maybe do one batch at time to make sure the meat stays dry. The inside can still be pink, but remove the beef after the outside has browned.
Then cut up your butternut squash the best you can. It’s a big squash, so get a big, sharp knife. It’s easiest to cut it into slices, then lay flat on a cutting board to trim away the skin. Then slice into cubes about the size of the meat.
Add the beef and squash to the onion pot, pour enough broth over it to cover everything, and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium to cook for about 30 minutes — or when the squash becomes soft.
If you have some leftover rice or quinoa in the fridge, add a few handfuls to thicken it up a little bit. I’m also pretty sure this would be crazy delicious with lamb or just about any other meat, as well.
This makes a big pot that will serve 6. And the best part is it stays hot in the bowl for a long time.