There are certain things that just NEED to happen in the fall in the Freeman home. Like hot apple cider, pumpkin scented candles, gratuitous loops of Jack Johnson songs and – you guessed it! – this ridiculously yummy Beef, Peanut and Squash Stew, which I have affectionately dubbed, “Autumn Stew”.
I discovered the bones for this recipe when I was on the South Beach Diet, and this fell under a Phase 1 recipe called “Peanut Butter Stew”. But because this stew seriously tastes like autumn in a bowl, (the peanuts are so mild, and the earthy, autumny squash flavors just permeate the broth beautifully) I had to rename it Autumn Stew.
After some major personal tweaks (adding beef, changing up the seasoning, etc.) and four years later, this is STILL a major seasonal favorite in the Freeman family!
If you’re scared of using peanut butter in a meaty stew, please DON’T BE! You really need to give this recipe a try just to see what I mean.. the sweet, buttery flavor of the squash pairs exceptionally well with the nuttiness of the peanut. (Try it. Just doooo eeeeeet!!!)
The best thing about this recipe is, you can use whatever winter squash you have on hand! I don’t think I’ve ever made any two batches the same, I’ve always changed it up with what I have on hand. This year, I used the random squash we received in our local organic veggie co-op.. which happened to be butternut squash, sugar pumpkin and straightneck squash! Yum yum!
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed assorted winter squash
- 1 pound (1/2-inch) cubed beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3/4 cup extra chunky natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add squash, beef, onion, garlic salt and cumin and sauté for five minutes or until beef is browned.
- Add chicken broth and slowly whisk in cornstarch. Add the peanut butter, tomato paste and red pepper, stirring well to combine.
- Bring the stew to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until the beef is cooked through and the squash is tender. Garnish with cilantro and serve.