Saturday, February 22, 2014

Beef Stew with Shallots, Butternut Squash and Parsnips

I caught the tail end of a cooking show two nights ago where I saw Italian chef Lidia Bastianich ladle out some stew. The gravy looked "to die for" and I couldn't get the image and imagined taste out of my head.

I immediately started looking for her recipe on line but couldn't find it. Then when I found out it was made with veal I decided I'll make mine with beef.

I took my inspiration from this Beef and Butternut Squash Stew recipe and as usual made it my own.

  • olive oil
  •  2 teaspoons rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons thyme 
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 8-9 shallots, peeled and cut in half in half
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 dried chopped prunes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 large parsnips, (cut into chunks of about 1 inch)
  • 1 butternut squash (cut into chunks of about 1 inch)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • chicken broth
  • 1 small-medium roast cut into 1 inch cubes or buy stew meat (about 2 pounds give or take a little)

Heat frying pan and put in the oil and shallots and herbs.  You can use fresh herbs but if you have none, dried herbs will work just fine and smell divine. Cook the shallots until they start to get transparent then add the garlic until cooked but not browned.

Next add the cubes of meat to a bowl of flour until lightly coated.  Add the meat to the shallots and garlic and cook on low heat until it starts to brown. Take care not to have the meat stick to the pan but this will likely happen anyway. Once the meat is browned, add the red wine and chopped prunes. You can gently scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the flour. Cook this mixture for a few minutes at boiling point. At this point do a taste test and add more seasonings, more chopped prunes or flour/water mixture for thickening and flavour and cook together for another minutes or two.

Transfer the meat mixture to a large dutch oven or pot that you use to make stews and soups. Add just enough chicken broth to cover the meat and a little more.  Let this boil,  then turn the heat down to simmer.  Cover and cook for an hour. Add the butternut squash, parsnips, tomato paste and turn the heat up to boiling for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Some people add the vegetables when they put the meat on to boil however this can make the vegetables too  mushy before the meat has been tenderized.

Eat and enjoy with some crusty bread or toast.  A perfect dish for our coolish temperatures. We have had fresh snow on the mountains for two nights in a row. We are expecting more snow and rain starting in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Fresh snow on the mountains for two days in a row. I'm sure the skiers are delighted. Me, not so much.

I make a lot of stews over the winter.  This is the best one by far for rich tasting and savoury gravy.  I'll definitely make it again.


Joy said...

OH yes, Joyful, this looks delectable and thanks for the recipe - you're making me hungry! Joy x

Share my Garden said...

Your snow-topped mountain photo is lovely. Stew and snow, yes they go together well! I only rarely eat meat but your recipe is tempting. I grow and eat a good supply of squash and parsnips, two good veg for the winter months.

jabbott said...

Oh I could murder a bowl of that stew, looks hearty and delicious x

Mereknits said...

I bet your house smelled so yummy, love that gorgeous view.

Gail Dixon said...

That looks absolutely divine! Bet it was truly wonderful. :)

Al said...

You just made me hungry, but it's not dinnertime yet. And that's a lovely view out your window!

Jo said...

Your stew looks yummy, Penny. I will remember this one for when we go to SA in June which is mid-winter and time for stews! Wrap up warmly against that snowy weather, Blessings, Jo

Denise said...

Sounds good.

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Wonderful colours.........great cold weather food!

Happy Sunday!

DeniseinVA said...

This looks like a delicious recipe. I'm bookmarking for the next time I go to the store. Thank you for sharing it. The mountain photo is beautiful!

Gattina said...

Looks very yummy ! would love to try it but not prepare it, lol !

Hannapat said...

Oops not sure what happened then. Was just typing to say this looks delicious and thank you for sharing, can't wait to try. Love the beautiful photo! xoxo said...

Yummm,the stew looks tasty,I can almost smell it,perfect for warming a body in cold weather.
I`m catching up with you,I`m so glad your mom got into a home & seems to be making the transition without any problems,she can have her things there with her,can ride her chair wherever,less stress for you & your family as well.I have a nurse coming in for my husband once a week now just to be sure I`m doing everything correctly.He has a sore also,but not as bad as your mom`s.That was something I wanted a nurse to look at.
Your skies are beautiful!Phyllis

Ceil said...

Hi Joyful! Oh my gosh, that stew looks so good! It's still bone-chilling cold here. I had soup last night for dinner just to warm up, but this stew could do the same. I love it when people try recipes, and I get the benefit. I think I can smell it from here!
Thank you for sharing! ( I think I'm tired of snow too...)

clairz said...

Oh, I miss seeing those gorgeous mountains. Here in southern New Mexico we have beautiful mountains to look at, though, although they seldom get more than a dusting of snow. That recipe looks delicious and I will be sure to give it a try. Thank you for another lovely post.

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