Even though it’s fall, it still feels like summer here in south Florida. The days are hot and humid, but the nights have cooled down. Maybe that’s why I’m in the mood for a meal that feels like autumn. I happily stumbled across this recipe for Beef and Butternut Squash Stew and instantly knew I had found what I was craving. I always associate butternut squash with the fall, and any type of stew works for this season.
Delicious Healthy Beef and Butternut Squash Stew! It’s Paleo, Whole30, Gluten Free, Low Carb. Can be made in a slow cooker or crockpot.
Talk about a short list of ingredients! I had to buy most everything for my beef and butternut squash stew, but I was okay with that. My first official fall meal seemed like a bit of a special occasion.
The meat was the most expensive item at $13.04 for 2 pounds. I chose to buy a whole chuck roast because it was a little cheaper than pre-cut stew meat and I would be able to cut it into bite-sized pieces. For some reason, the ready cut stew meat always comes in huge chunks. I have to cut most chunks in half anyway, so why pay extra?
I timed my shopping trip just right and snagged the last butternut squash on display. Unfortunately, it was massive and weighed in at 4 pounds, double what I needed. But the good news is squash freezes well, so the extra didn’t go to waste. I peeled it, cut it into chunks, and froze it for another meal.
Lastly, I opted for fresh herbs. It was the pricier option compared with using dried, but I wasn’t sure how much of the dried herbs to use. No measuring was required with the fresh rosemary and thyme, but I’ll have to find a way to use the extra (and there was plenty of extra). If you grow your own herbs, which I really need to do, then you can easily cut the sprigs you need and have no waste.
This beef and butternut squash stew recipe has options for cooking on the stovetop and in the slow cooker. I do love my slow cooker, but I decided to try the stovetop method. It’s quicker, but it’s a little more work than tossing everything into the crockpot.
Based on prior experiences making stew on the stove, I expected this recipe to be a lot more work than it was. Once everything is peeled and chopped, all I had to do was sauté the onions and beef. After that, I threw everything but the butternut squash into the pot and left it to simmer for an hour.
The final step was adding the squash and letting it simmer for another 30 minutes. That was it! I found I didn’t need to adjust the seasonings when the stew was done. I had a perfectly done stew with tender meat and squash with a broth that was delicious enough to eat on its own. My only regret was not buying a loaf of crusty bread to soak up every last drop!
A 5-quart cast-iron Dutch oven was the perfect size for this recipe, and it went together pretty quickly. The time listed on the recipe looks like it’s for the slow cooker method, which is much longer than the stovetop version I used. Here is how the time broke down for me:
- 14 minutes for prep work
- 1 hour 38 minutes to cook
- 1 hour 52 minutes total