Beef + Butternut Squash Stew

This week’s meal plan had not one but two new recipes! While all of our cookbooks are still in storage in Denver {insert loud sobs!} I somehow managed to bring along a binder of recipes from magazines that I’ve cut out over the years. We’ve been working with that and checking out books from the library to fill in our meal plans. Last night’s dinner was a Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash served with couscous. I added more spices than the original recipe called for and I think I’d even bump it up a notch again next time.

This recipe came from a Cooking Light magazine in the January/February 2011 issue. I bought beef stew meat from Whole Foods because it was on sale. I think because of the cut of meat I used this was not a 40 minute recipe, which worked out well for me. I also believe this could be a great dish cooked low and slow in the crock pot or even in the oven on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I’ll be experimenting with this because we both thought that the flavors were so awesome and because the boy, ahem the husband requested lots of butternut squash in the future!

I’ll apologize in advance that there isn’t a single photo of this dish. It was dark + gloomy + rainy and I never took a single picture. {Must be better about that!!} The photo below is from the Cooking Light website.

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Beef Tangine with Butternut Squash

adapted from Cooking Light


2 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 pounds beef cut into 1 inch cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 small onions, cut into thin wedges

4 garlic cloves chopped

1 cup chicken broth

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

3 cups (1 inch) cubed and peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)

Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the beef, toss to coat. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat (I used my large Le Cruset pot, it was the perfect size.) Add onions and let them begin to brown. Add in beef, stir occasionally until browned. Add in garlic, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn but make sure it gets cooked! Stir in broth and deglaze the pan, scrape up all those yummy brown bits!! Add in tomatoes and bring everything to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then add squash. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Serve over couscous.

{The cooking ingredients are what the original recipe suggested. My beef and my squash weren’t ready at this point. I allowed them to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. I believe it’s because of the cut of beef I used but nonetheless it was a delicious dish!}

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braised short ribs. your dinner just got owned!

that my friends is exactly what the boy, ahem the husband, said when we sat down for dinner tonight. and then he leaned over and told me it was amazing. that doesn’t happen all the time so I was one happy girl (I mean he tells me dinner is good and everything but this got a kick ass reaction!) seriously people this recipe is to die for. I only wish I had more short ribs on hand because somehow I only bought 5 and I forgot how much they can shrink up. pureed parsnips are delicious. they’re sweet like carrots but just as tasty as mashed potatoes. what wouldn’t be if you’re mixing it with butter, cream and horseradish? kick it up a notch by using extra hot horseradish and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. need a delicious recipe for a dinner party? perhaps one for valentines day? or to woo someone you love? go, no scratch that, run, to the nearest book store and buy The Smitten Kitchen. I can’t recommend it enough. and with an endorsement like that from the boy, ahem the husband, you know it’s gotta be good.

since I mentioned the cost of our dinner yesterday I’ll do it again. this dinner was more expensive than last night but it all balances out. this dinner had no leftovers (boo!) and was only for two of us.

short ribs (Whole Foods) $11.00 for just about 2lbs

parsnips (king soopers) $3.00

butter, horseradish and garlic we’ll call it even at about $1.50

total: $15.50

definitely can’t get something this delicious at a restaurant for $7.75 per person

shortribswhat are you waiting for?! go!!