I am sad to see summer go… it is my favorite! But, there are two things that make me excited for fall – the smell of cinnamon and other fall spices and my slow-cooker. Just last night we roasted the butternut squash that was leftover from this recipe with apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. Our house smelled so good!
This Beef & Butternut Squash Stew is one of our fall favorites. The squash makes this stew more filling and adds a delicious hint of sweetness.
If you are going to be around, I recommend adding the squash to your slow cooker half way through cooking. About 4 hours (on low) is a good length of time to cook squash in my slow-cooker. If you are off to work or someplace more fun, no worries, just toss it in at the start and it will still taste great, it will just be a little more mushy.
Slow Cooker Beef & Butternut Squash Stew
3 tablespoons ghee, divided (make your own or I like this brand)
2 leeks (light parts only), diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch cubes
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste (preferably in a glass jar, like this brand)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
4 cups beef broth
4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 small squash)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute or two. Transfer the mixture into the slow cooker.
- Add the additional tablespoon of ghee to the same pan. Generously salt and pepper the beef. Add the beef to the pan and cook until it is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and cook until it turns from a bright red to a brick color. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes and beef broth. You can either add the butternut squash now, or you can add it half way through cooking time. They will turn out much softer if you add them now, but they will still be delicious!
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Add rosemary the last hour of cooking.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve!
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