CEimB: Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash

by Joanne on March 10, 2011

Just a motivational quote to share…


It is wonderful that life continues to challenge and define us, great that there is always more to strive for and assuring that we will always grow from these experiences so the future will be better still. – Deena Kastor

This week, Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table chose the recipe. It was beefy and not a dish for me. I was going to make it vegetarian by using beans in place of beef and vegetable broth in place of beef broth but Ted likes beef stew so I stuck to the recipe and I enjoyed the Utica Mac n Cheese dish with a hearty spinach salad topped with tuna. Doesn’t sound as good as beef stew but it worked for me… any WHO… here’s the STEW!


The challenge: Make the stew based on THIS recipe. If you notice in the directions, the garlic, squash tomatoes and broth are lost. So I simply added them somewhere in between the ginger and returning the beef to the pot. If you have Ellie’s book “So Easy”, you probably didn’t have the incomplete directions. Guess I should really buy that book.


· 2 tsp olive oil

· 1 lb stew beef

· 1 lg onion

· 1 TBS peeled, minced fresh ginger

· 2 cloves garlic, minced

· 1 medium butternut squash (microwave for 6 minutes, allow to cool then peel and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes) *Microwaving the squash makes peeling and cubing it a little easier.

· 14.5 oz diced tomatoes

· 8 oz diced tomatoes

· 8 oz tomato sauce

· 1 ½ cups broth

· 1 ½ tsp cumin

· 1 tsp cinnamon

· ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

· * Ellie uses whole wheat couscous and ¼ cup sliced toasted almonds in her recipe. She serves the stew over it. But, as I said, I had made Mac n Cheese so I didn’t bother with the couscous.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Brown beef on all sides (5 minutes). Remove and set aside. Add the onions to the juices left in the pan and let cook for 5 – 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook one minute more.

Add the squash, tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and spices. Add the beef back into the pot. Bring all to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and let cook (Ellie says 30 – 35 minutes but the beef was still tough at that point) 1 hour. *After Ted’s taste test, he decided the beef needed at least an hour of simmering to get nice and tender.


As for feedback, both Ted and Teddy said they enjoyed the flavor but the beef wasn’t tender enough. Maybe as leftovers it will be a little more “pull apart” beef.


I’m going to try this recipe again because the spices intrigue me but I’ll make it a “Bean Stew” and maybe use 2 or 3 bean varieties.

To be honest, I would really like to be out of “stew” weather and into some barbeque type weather.  Where are you Spring?!!!

SunRed roseSun

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  • At 2011.03.10 07:32, Kayte said:

    Looks great, I love those BIG chunks of squash (never can have too much squash as far as I am concerned, the bigger the better). I did worry when I chose this recipe about you but I was thinking that maybe Ted would like it and I knew you would find a creative way to make it work for you or you would have something else in mind because you are always such a great team player and make everything! Thanks for being a good sport this week…we would come and share that stew any time! Love your new header, etc. as I keep forgetting to say that.

    • At 2011.03.10 13:48, Joanne said:

      Thanks Kayte.

      • At 2011.03.10 09:12, Peggy said:

        Good morning!! Once again – great photos and a great stew. I also noticed part of that recipe was missing from the internet’s version. I kept reading it wondering when you put the squash in. So I looked it up in the book. I didn’t think I would like the squash in this, but we did. I chopped up all the leftover squash and roasted it in the oven and guess what? Left it in the over overnight. Now I’m wondering if that is okay to eat. I did refrigerate it this morning. What do you think? Hope you are having a great week!!!

        • At 2011.03.10 13:48, Joanne said:

          It’s not like it was meat left out overnight so I guess I would go ahead and consider it safe.

          It’s funny. When I do things like that (yes I do!), I think back to when my parents were kids and they didn’t have big refrigerators. Fruit pies, vegetables, cheese, all sorts of things were left out, unrefrigerated. My parents are well into their eighties so guess it doesn’t always hurt.

          I think we’re all a bit paranoid these days about foods, wrapping, refrigeration and what not.

          • At 2011.03.10 10:39, Jake Olson said:

            The squash looks like a great companion for the beef in that stew. I know you guys weren’t crazy about the result, but the pictures are at least inspiring.

            • At 2011.03.10 13:48, Joanne said:

              Thank you Jake. I really like your version of beef stew.

              • At 2011.03.10 11:53, Chaya said:

                The colors are beautiful, so vibrant. I do think, it would have worked with beans as well as meat.

                You asked me a question about Mark Bittman which I had not answered. He is fantastic but, in my opinion, you have to bring yourself to his recipes. He gives you the outline and you pick and choose to fill it in with deliciousness.

                • At 2011.03.10 13:49, Joanne said:

                  That’s what I found about M.B. as well. Thanks.

                  • At 2011.03.10 22:17, Bri said:

                    Wow, thanks for the tip on microwaving the squash first. I have only just begun to work with it, so I admit that peeling it wasn’t my easiest task! Now I know what to try next time. I do think this would work well with beans, so definitely try it sometime!

                    • At 2011.03.10 23:47, Margaret said:

                      This was a really good stew. I used my crockpot and the meat and squash were both very tender. And the fragrance that wafted fhru my kitchen after 4 hours was fantastic.!! Love those big chunks of squash.

                      • At 2011.03.11 00:58, Monet said:

                        My oh my, I’ve never thought of adding cinnamon to soup before. How intriguing! I don’t normally eat beef, but I have a soft spot for stew. Yum! Thanks for sharing, sweet friend. I hope you have a great Friday. I need a loong and relaxing weekend, and I’m sure you do too!

                        • At 2011.03.11 05:20, Marthe said:

                          Oh no…. I’m so sory, I hadn’t noticed that the recipe in the link was incorrect. I know see that it also lists too much no salt added diced tomatoes: you only needed 1 14 oz can and not the additional 8oz can listed below it…. sooooo sorry! This has taught me to check recipes better 😉

                          I’m glad Ted liked it, I really liked it too!

                          • At 2011.03.11 08:15, Liz said:

                            I look forward to seeing your bean version at a future date 🙂

                            I have to admit that a big part of the reason this didn’t get made yet is because I’m afraid of the squash. Thanks for the tip about microwaving it first!

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