Super tender butternut squash beef stew Italian style slowly braised on the stovetop in a citrusy blood orange gravy (no wine) with subtle hints of clove and nutmeg!
Butternut Squash Beef Stew
Incredibly tender melt in your mouth chuck roast beef, feel free to skip the browning process and save some time if you like because I tested it both ways and in the end you really can’t tell the difference.
I’m a stovetop / oven and cast iron kind of woman, but you can totally make this in your Instant Pot or crock pot if you prefer.
Whenever a recipe calls for pumpkin I like to use butternut squash. It is the sweetest of them all with thin skin and delicious nutty flavor, you can taste the perfection of fall in every bite. Squeeze a few blood oranges into the mix and you are taking your taste buds on a trip to Paradise.
If you don’t fancy butternut squash just use sweet orange potatoes instead, peeled and cubed.
Add in a couple of handfuls of bay kale or spinach to boost the nutritional value. Cooked chickpeas or cannellini beans make a nice addition too. Best served with a piece of crusty Italian bread, ciabatta or a slice of Focaccia to mop up all the luscious gravy.
Mangia bene! ~ Florentina Xo’s
Butternut Squash Beef Stew
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 5 cloves large garlic whole
- 2 lb organic grass fed Chuck Roast cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 lb organic Butternut Squash cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 cup blood oranges juiced ( 1 or so )
- 2 inch carrots sliced into 1/2 rounds
- 6 lemon thyme sprigs
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes + more to taste
- 3 cloves whole
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 leaves bay
- nut meg -freshly grated
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley -leaves only
- 3 tbs all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 5 cups water
- 2 blood oranges sliced
- 1 red chile pepper sliced
- Mix the flour and paprika together in a plastic bag. Season the beef with the sea salt and black pepper and transfer them to the plastic bag. Toss everything together to coat.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a cast iron dutch oven over medium flame. Add the garlic cloves and sear until golden on both sides. Transfer to a bowl. Shake any excess flour from the beef and sear each cube for a couple of minutes until golden brown at the edges. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in between batches if necessary.
- Transfer them all to the bowl with the garlic and cover with plastic wrap to keep warm.
- Add one more tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and cook one more minute.
- Meanwhile save two strips of orange peel from the blood oranges and zest the rest and reserve. Squeeze 1 cup of juice from the oranges and add it to the pot together with the balsamic vinegar. Using a silicone spatula make sure to scrape all the brown bits from the bottom. Add the bay leaf, cloves, thyme sprigs and orange peels and allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the beef cubes with all the juices and the garlic back to the pot and stir to combine. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover with a tight lid and transfer to a 350 F degrees oven. Let it cook for 2 hours.
- Add the butternut squash and carrots to the pot, give it a good stir, cover tightly with the lid and let cook in the oven for an additional 45 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
- Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and gently stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the reserved orange zest.
- Serve hot sprinkled with the parsley, orange slices, red chile and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
- Use chuck roast whenever making beef stew, it is one of the most flavorful cuts and the best for cooking slowly in some liquid.
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