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Day 2: Butternut Squash Beef Stew

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One of the meals I was most excited to make was butternut squash beef stew.  Three years ago (OMG I can’t believe this was 3 years ago!) I spent a lovely weekend in Durham, NC with my friend Andrea during which we made a delicious butternut squash beef stew.  I couldn’t find the exact recipe that we used so I looked at a bunch, got the general idea, and set off to work.  I will warn you, the stew was underwhelming.  It’s not that it wasn’t good; it was fine  I’m not sure if I remember this stew as SO GOOD that I held it in high regard for the last 3 years and was now let down, or if I left something out (in which case suggestions are much appreciated).

The interesting or weird thing about this project is that not all of my recipes will turn out well.  There will be a lot of learning what not to do or thoughts for doing it better next time.  Or can just be a comedy of errors as some of my cooking experiences turn out to be.

Here’s the recipe.  I won’t post a picture because, well, stew rarely looks appetizing.

Ingredients:
1 lb beef (I used pre-cut stirfry strips)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 medium butternut squash, cut into cubest
1 medium potato (russet or white)
1/2 lb green beans, ends cut
1/2 cup chopped carrots
16 oz beef broth
1/2 cup flour
(1) 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 tsp chopped garlic
salt
pepper
cumin
Italian seasoning
paprika

Directions:
1. Add vegetables and meat to slow cooker
2. Add broth, tomato paste, and spices to taste.  I rarely measure spices and now know how my grandmother felt every time I would ask her “But how much do I use.”  So no idea how much I used of each spice, but definitely more cumin and Italian seasoning than the others.
3. Sprinkle flower on top.  This will allow the broth to thicken to be stew.
4. Mix together.  Set slow cooker to low and let cook for 7-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
5. When done serve over rice. (I made brown rice in beef broth)

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