Winter is still hitting most of us with some chilly weather so I have just the dinner to serve to warm your tummy and your soul. Slow Cooker Winter Squash Beef Stew is a comforting, homemade stew made with lots of vegetables, including butternut and acorn squash.
I use my slow cooker pretty rarely but I do like to use it once in a while. Meat always comes out so tender, I just love it. The reason I don’t use it a lot is because that thing is huge and my family is picky about leftovers. They will tolerate eating the same thing twice, may be three times, but that’s about it. Since it’s only three of us, I cook things in small batches. I do love the ease of a slow cooker and wish I had a small one. I don’t even keep it in the kitchen, I have it sitting in the pantry until I want to use it. That could be why it took me 14 hours to make this batch of Winter Squash Beef Stew. I’m not used to it being out.
Let me explain. I took out my slow cooker and set it on the counter next to my stand-up mixer. I cut the meat and put it in there. I peeled and chopped my veggies and added it. I put the hot water in, added all the herbs and spices. All happy and good. Closed the lid and set the time. An hour later, I walked by to mix it. The meat was starting to get brown and it was smelling good. An hour later, the meat was still only starting to brown so I thought “wow that is a very slow cooker.” So I raised the heat and left to run errands. Came back to notice that nothing happened. “Oh no, this thing is broken!” I checked everything, even checked if the plug was broken. The plug…it was fine but it was comfortably laying behind the slow cooker. What’s wrong with this picture? I forgot to plug it in…oh great. In my defense, the plug looks just like the plug for the mixer and I thought that I plugged it in. Blonde moment! Once I plugged it in, it cooked beautifully.
This is a delicious beef stew that has an addition of winter squash. Much more veggies packed in this great dish and there is much more flavor.
One note: if you notice, I used only half of a butternut squash. That is because butternut squash tends to be very big. Don’t fret, there are many recipes where you can use the leftover squash. Particular one that comes to mind, is the Butternut Squash Potato Soup.
Slow Cooker Winter Squash Beef Stew
- 2 lbs stew beef cut into about 1 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 lb golden potatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1/2 medium butternut squash
- Water to cover the meat and vegetables hot
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 springs of thyme
- 8 oz of tomato sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Cut the stew beef into 1-inch chunks. I like to trim some of the fat off but not all.
- Place the beef in the slow cooker and sprinkle with flour. Stir well so that the meat is coated in flour.
- Peel and chop your vegetable into about 1/2-1 inch cubes and add them to the pot.
- Add hot water slowly, while stirring, until all the vegetables are covered.
- Add the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Throw in the bay leaf and thyme springs.
- Cover and cook on LOW for about 8 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
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