Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

I am in Vermont this weekend visiting Doug & Julina (my brother-in-law and sister-in-law) so I thought this stew recipe from Giada de Laurentiis’s Apres Ski episode on Everyday Italian was a fitting post for the day.

I made this stew last winter on a cold Saturday night in the Berkshires.  I thought it was absolutely delicious!  The squash, sun-dried tomatoes, and marsala wine provided a wonderful sweetness to the sauce which I greatly enjoyed mopping up with crusty bread.

Just a few notes on the recipe…Do not use jarred sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil – they will add too much oil to the sauce.  Use fresh herbs if possible.  I think fresh rosemary is among the most inviting kitchen scents.  To save time, you can buy pre-chopped butternut squash (available in most grocery stores).

As with most stews, this tastes even better the next day so it is a great dish to make on a Sunday and have during the week.

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
Giada de Laurentiis

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Crusty bread, for serving

In a large soup pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and saute until the onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Toss the beef cubes in salt and pepper and flour. Turn up the heat to med-high and add the beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala wine. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the butternut squash and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add enough beef broth to just cover the beef and squash. Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread alongside.

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