February 18, 2009

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

The weather is so sneaky. It had just barely started to warm up here last week, and now it's back to freezing again. After spending a few days in sunny Orlando, I was beginning to think that winter might just be heading out the door. Ha! It doesn't look like the coldness will be leaving us anytime soon. Plus, we are headed back up to Toronto this coming weekend, so I have a feeling we will be getting more than our fair share of winter weather.

The one (and pretty much only) good thing about the chilly weather is that you get to sit in the comfort of your heated home eating soul satisfying soups and stews. That's exactly how I plan to cope the next few months. So I decided to give another one of Giada's soup recipes a try after my last attempt didn't go so well. I've had this bookmarked for forever and am so glad that I finally tried it. It is very hardy with big, beautiful chunks of butternut squash. The sweet squash, savory meat, tangy sun-dried tomatoes and herb combo make for a very unique flavor. This dish just feels special because of how many layers of flavor it has. You would never know that it was easypeasy to whip up. This is also pretty economical for those of you who aren't so sure the stimulus bill will pull us out of this funk.

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 pounds of stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons AP flour
1 cup Marsala wine
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3-4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
rice, optional
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  • Add onions, garlic, rosemary and thyme and saute for about 2 minutes, or until the onions have begun to soften.
  • Toss beef with salt, pepper and flour, then place in pot over medium-high heat.
  • Cook beef until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add wine, and using a spoon, stir-up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add squash and tomatoes.
  • Add just enough broth to cover the squash.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste, garnish with parsley and serve over rice, if desired.


Elra said...

The most I like about Giada's recipe is so humble and down to earth. I can imagine how this stew is just like that. Have you tried her Angel hair with lemon and chili oil? OMG, it's so good that you almost forget how humble it is.

kickpleat said...

this looks so good!

noble pig said...

I love the beef with the squash, I don't think I've ever had that combo before! Very nice.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Hope you had a fabulous time at Disney World! We're having a lot of rain in California, so this soup looks really good. I confess, that I can't seem to "bond" with butternut squash. BUT, in this instance, this looks like a great recipe to see if I can learn to like it (my husband loves it)... anything with sun-dried tomatoes has my vote!
Great job!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Oh my husband and I LOVE Giada's recipes.
Looks great.

Lori Lynn said...

It looks wonderfully comforting! The idea of beef with squash is especially pleasing.

Apples and Butter said...

Soups are so on the mind this week! Our heat wave left us and ever since we've had rain and cold. I think I'm definitely going to have to make some soup this weekend. Thanks for a great recipe!

Sara said...

This looks great, I made a brisket and butternut chili not that long ago that was quite good.

Lori said...

I stopped by to see what's cooking. Stew. . I love stew and this one sounds and looks delicious. I would never have thought to use butternut squash (which I love).

Tartelette said...

Love this recipe! We have to pretend it is cold here but I don't care, I still cook as if I were still back home. Soups, stews and long simmered roasts...Yum!

Emily said...

I love butternut squash! Love, love, love it. This stew looks great.

You could serve it in a butternut squash bowl.

sugarlens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sugarlens said...

I really want to make nice chunky soup like that, but I never know what type of meat to use. There are so many options - round top, shoulder, roast, etc - I can't get them straight.

Yours look so tender - what kind of meat did you use? I know you said "stew beef", but is that really what it says on the label?

Yum, nothing like hot soup on cold winter days!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Elra - I am a total fan of Giada's and have probably cooked more of her recipes with success than anyone else. I will have to try this lemon chili pasta!

Hi kickpleat - Thanks!!

Hi noble pig - It's a great combo. I've made a chili with it before and it was awesome as well.

Hi Debby - We had a fantastic time, thanks! I can't believe you don't like BN squash! Maybe you should give it another go - they say you have to eat something 7 times before you can start acquiring a taste for it.

Hi Foodie - She is full of winners!

Hi Lori Lynn - Nothing better for a chilly day!

Hi Apples and Butter - Don't you hate when the weather teases you like that?!

Hi Sara - Oh, I bet the brisket was awesome!

Hi Lori - You should try it!

Hi Tartelette - I will trade with you. I'll be in warm weather pretending and you can have all the comfort food you want. :)

Hi Emily - Awesome idea! Wish I had your creativity!

Hi Sugarlens - I bought the meat off freshdirect and it did actually say stew meat. I think it was the long cooking that made it really tender, because you totally could have cut it with a spoon. I bet your butcher can help you figure out what kind of meat if you can't find something labeled as such - but in something like this it's almost like the cheaper the better, since it's going to cook down to a nice tenderness regardless of the cut.

Maria said...

I love the added color the squash brings to this stew!

Donna-FFW said...

This is looking so very delicious. LOVE beef with squash. I will have to try this one!!

Brittany (He Cooks She Cooks) said...

I just bought a butternut squash yesterday. All I need is some stew meat and this could be dinner tomorrow!

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

It gotten cold again around here too - booo! But you're right, a cozy, warming soup makes all the difference.

Chef Fresco said...

yum! We love cooking with butternut squash!

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Maria - It definitely brightens up the beef!

Hi Donna - I hope you do and you like it as much as we did.

Hi Brittany - And stew meat is cheap! Go get ya some!

Hi Ari - We all have to find a way to cope.

Hi Chef Fresco - It's one of those veggies that is so sweet it tastes good, as well as being good for you. Win win!

Peter M said...

That's a fine looking stew....perfect for this cold, windy evening.

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