"Wow! Smells great, babe! What's for dinner?"
"Beef and butternut squash stew," she replied.
"I don't think I like stews."
She handed him his bowl. "Add a sprinkle of Italian parsley and freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano."
"I like cheese!" he said with a skeptical smile.
He finishes his bowl of stew and sets his spoon down. "I'm getting seconds. This is amazing, babe! And I don't even like stew!"
Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 cup Marsala wine
- 3 1/2 cups 2-inch cubed butternut squash (raw)
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes - no oil
- 3-4 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
- optional - Parmesan Reggiano
- optional - fresh baguette for serving
- In a heavy bottom soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, rosemary leaves and thyme. Sautee until onions are tender - about 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix.
- Dredge the beef cubes in the salt and pepper until coated - doesn't have to evenly coat, just lightly.
- Turn the stove heat to medium-high and add the beef cubes.
- Cook about 5 minutes until the beef edges are mostly brown - toss with a wooden spoon often.
- Add the Marsala wine. Using the wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any brown bits. The bits will blend into the stew, however if you don't scrape them now, they will burn.
- Add the butternut squash and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Add enough beef broth to cover the meat. Stir. Add more beef broth if necessary.
- Bring stew to a boil then reduce to low, add the lid and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occassionally during the hour, scraping any pieces from the bottom of the pan.
- At one hour, taste a piece of meat and butternut squash. Add salt and pepper in small quantities if needed.
- Serve the stew in low bowls. Sprinkle each serving with some chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano.
- Optional Serving Suggestion - Serve with a warmed, crusty baguette. I like to put the baguette in the center of the table on a cutting board and let guests tear off chunks. On a weeknight, I don't usually serve bread with this dish as it is hearty.
- Salad Serving Suggestion - Pair with a basic, non-fishy, Caesar salad or mixed greens, tomatoes and creamy balsamic dressing.
- Make this dish for company! It presents well and can be made ahead, then reheated. This dish freezes very well!