October 4, 2011

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

Let's get this out of the way in the beginning: the end result of this dish is not what I would typically consider a stew. It is much too brothy to be a stew. I would call it a soup. Semantics aside, this was very tasty, hearty and warming on a cool October night.

I had my friends (and neighbors), Nicole and Joe, over for dinner this past weekend and I was craving pot roast. When I was flipping through Giada's Kitchen, I saw this recipe for Beef and Butternut Squash Stew and thought, well, that would be a good way to use the butternut squash from this week's CSA. (A note about the squash: I usually dread cutting butternut squash because they are large and tough, but these babies were a manageable size, easy to peel and easy to cut into.)

While the stew turned out well, it could have used more vegetables. I actually found myself searching for carrots that I knew were not in the bowl. And when I had it leftover at work the next day, I couldn't help but think that barley, or some other grain, would enhance the dish and soak up the remaining broth.

In case anyone is wondering what we had along side the stew, I pan-fried a can of chickpeas and threw them on top of the CSA salad mix and made Ina Garten's Vinaigrette for Green Salad (I halved it and omitted the garlic). Giada recommends serving this stew with crusty bread, and I thought, well, we can't have bread without roasted garlic butter! I first wrote about roasted garlic butter in June, but this time I roasted 6 heads of CSA garlic for 8 tablespoons of butter. (The CSA garlic only has between 4-5 cloves in each head.)  All in all, it was a great dinner!

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