A couple of weeks ago I made this super easy recipe on the weekend. On a cold day, it’s even better: the aroma, hmmmmm… and dive into something tasty and warm. I got this started right after breakfast and dropped in the other ingredients while I was making lunch, and voila, it was ready for dinner.
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1 lb. organic stew beef – cut in chunks
3 cups vegetable stock or beef broth (or water)
2 TB beef tallow or ghee
1 1/4 cup cubed winter squash (butternut is easiest, otherwise, pumpkin, acorn, kabocha, etc.)
3/4 cup carrots cut into 1/3” –1/2” slices
1 medium onion cut in small chunks
1/2 cup cabbage cut small
1/2 cup yellow summer squash or zucchini (optional)
1 medium tomato cut into bite size cubes
2 cloves garlic chopped small
1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp thyme spice (or twice as much if freshly minced)
1/2 tsp sage spice (or twice as much if freshly minced)
1 tsp Sea Salt (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper (optional)
Beef ‘stew meat’ is great for this as it will come out tender after hours of simmering and tends to be less expensive. I prefer the winter squash to fall apart and be part of the ‘thickness’ of this stew.
1) If you are using butternut squash, peel the skin off, de-seed and cut into 2” chunks – definitely the easiest. If using other squashes look below to de-skin**
2) Put the de-skinned/de-seeded winter squash, cubed stew meat, broth, tallow (or ghee), and garlic into slow cooker. You may need a little more water, check to see that the liquid level goes to the height of the food.
3) If your slow cooker has a ‘stew’ setting, select that. Otherwise, set it on high for 10 minutes or so to bring it to a boil and then on low to simmer. Let it set for 3 hours.
4) After the 3 hours time (approximately) carefully open the lid and stir and squish down the winter squash a little so that it dissolves into the broth and makes it a little thicker. Add all the other ingredients (carrots, onion, celery, tomato, ACV, thyme, sage) to the meat and squash – except for the salt and pepper.
5) Be sure to set the cooker to ‘stew’ again (so that it re-boils) or set on high for 10 min. to bring it to a boil then put it on low let it simmer for another 2+ hours.
6) Before serving is when I like to add my salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the broth you used, you may or may not want to add any salt.
I tend to cook sometimes with what I have in the fridge… so feel free to add or subtract out ingredients as you prefer – maybe you don’t like cabbage, you can substitute something else such as parsnips.
I have to say that both my daughter and I were not thrilled with it as we took it out of the slow cooker that first evening. It was okay, more like a soup with a lot of chunks of good food. But… we let it settle over night by cooling it down then putting it in the fridge. I reheated it the second day and we both LOVED it. It was a thicker and the flavors came out more! What a difference! We put the rest in the freezer and then took it out again yesterday… once again, we LOVED it. I thought I’d let you know in case you just want to skip it coming straight out of the pot and are willing to wait for it to become a richer stew.
I always recommend a lead-free slow cooker. I used my VITACLAY 8-Cup slow cooker for this recipe and it’s fairly full. So, if your cooker is a little smaller, you might want to reduce the ingredients just a bit.
Enjoy! And, please let me know what you think about it, especially once you’ve let it set a bit.
**If you are using another winter squash it is much more difficult to take the skin off when raw, so you can either cut them in big 3” or so pieces and steam them for 10 -15 minutes and then when cooled, scrape the squash away or cut off the skin. Or you put it in the slow cooker also cut in those big pieces with the broth and meat and then take them back out in 15 minutes and cut off the skin. You can actually eat the skin of kabocha squash, and when I steam them I do often eat the skin, but I prefer not to have it in the stew.
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photo credits: Judy
This post was shared at LittleNaturalCottage.com
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