Monday, October 29, 2012

Beef Stew with Squash and Cinnamon

I'm not generally a huge fan of stew, but for some reason, I keep trying it. This one was delicious though. The beef came out incredibly tender. The spices were a little bit more subtle than I was expecting. I might be tempted next time to increase them just a bit. The original recipe calls for oxtail meat, but I used beef stewing meat. You can use pumpkin in place of the squash. I made a few changes to simplify the recipe a bit and those are reflected below.

One year ago: Southeast Asian Squash Curry
Three years ago: Southwestern Egg Rolls

Beef Stew with Squash and Cinnamon (adapted from Ottolenghi)

olive oil
2 lb beef stew meat
200g shallots, roughly chopped
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
400ml red wine
650g canned chopped tomatoes
10 sprigs of thyme
5 sprigs of rosemary
zest of 1/2 orange
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 tsp ground black pepper
500g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeds, and cut into 2.5 cm cubes
300 ml water
2 tbsp chopped parsley
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a Dutch oven with 2tbsp olive oil over high heat. Working in batches, add beef and brown on all sides. Set beef aside.
2. Add shallots, carrots, and garlic to Dutch oven and saute over medium-high heat until golden brown, 10 minutes.
3. Add wine to pan and deglaze. Bring to a boil and simmer until almost all the wine has evaporated.
4. Add tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, orange zest, bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise, black pepper, and salt. Add 1 cup water (mine dried out without water, use your discretion here!) Return beef to pan, cover with parchment and lid, and place in oven. Cook for 2 - 3 hours.
5. Add squash cubes and additional water to pan. Bring to boil on stove, reduce heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for 30 minutes or until squash is soft.
6. Mix gremolata ingredients together and sprinkle on top of stew when serving.

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