Sunday, January 31, 2010

Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash

This recipe is taken from Ellie Krieger's 'So Easy'...
"Far from your run-of-the-mill beef stew, this one transports you to another land with a unique combination of everyday ingredients. In it tender beef is nestled with chunks of sweet butternut squash in a rich Moroccan spiced tomato sauce. That exotic inspiration continues as it is served over fluffy couscous and topped with crunchy almonds. It's just as easy as, if not easier than, the same old stew, but so much more rewarding."

2 t olive oil
1 pound stew beef (round or chuck), cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1 T peeled fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound peeled cubed butternut squash, cut into 1 1/2 -in cubes
1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
4 t minced fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium- high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate, leaving the juices in the saucepan. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute. Return the beef to the pot and stir in the squash, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
Spoon the stew over the couscous, and sprinkle each serving with almonds and parsley.

Makes 4 servings

My Review

First off, the scent is heavenly! My husband walked in from work and announced, "Mmmmm, smells good!" The creamy, sweet butternut squash offsets the spicy (very mild) tomato base perfectly. The couscous was good with the stew, but I think I won't serve it next time. The butternut squash was enough starch for me.