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Beef Stew With Squash and a Surprise Ingredient!

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“The other night as I was making up our weekly menu I went through my recipe file. That behemoth box that was jam packed with recipes that I have collected by clipping them out of magazines or printing them off from the internet. One of my goals while going through it was to whittle it down to keep only recipes that I thought I actually might make. Little by little I am accomplishing that goal. Also organizing it a bit better. We are also trying to use the crockpot more so this one was a doubly good find! See if you can find the surprise ingredient.”
6hrs 25mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb beef chuck, boneless cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, minced (I didn't have any so I used 1 tsp of granulated garlic instead)
  • 1 -2 teaspoon cumin seed (grind them yourself or use already ground)
  • 1 -2 teaspoon paprika (I like paprika so I used more along the lines of 2 tsp)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed (grind them yourself or use already ground)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 14 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 1 pound)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can green peas
  • 12 cup green olives, stuffed with pimentos, cut in half
  • 14 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. If you have the time and inclination:
  2. - Brown the beef in a large skillet until seared on all sides.
  3. - You can also brown the onions if you are so inclined.
  4. If you are like me and are trying to do this at the crack of dawn before racing out the door to the bus stop and then to work start here:
  5. Plug in the crock pot.
  6. Toss in the chopped onions, garlic, carrots, squash and beef.
  7. Stir in all the spices except the fresh cilantro.
  8. Pour in the tomato sauce.
  9. Cook on LOW for 6 – 8 hours.
  10. About 15 minutes before it is going to be served or as soon as you get home:
  11. add the peas, cilantro and the olives.
  12. Stir it all up and let cook another 15 minutes or so.
  13. I served it over whole wheat couscous with a hunk of roasted garlic bread that Jeff picked up on the way home. It was a hit – everyone decided it was a keeper and that the addition of the olives (the secret ingredient) was genius. I loved the way it added a nice salty counterpart to the sweet squash. If you wanted to you could also add a bit of chicken stock to the stew at the beginning.

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