Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beefy Pumpkin Stew

This is one of my winter favorites - we both just love it. It's hearty, very filling, warming, and delicious, and so easy! The crockpot does most of the work, and the spices make the whole house smell delicious by dinnertime.


1 small pumpkin or butternut squash (about a pound)
1 lb cubed stew beef *
1 medium-sized rutabaga or potato, cubed
1 medium-sized turnip, cubed
1 large carrot, sliced
¼ onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup pearl barley
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 heaping tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp paprika or chipotle powder
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
Hot sauce to taste
4 cups water or broth

* To make this vegan: Use mushrooms instead of beef.

Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the guts. Quarter each half and carefully cut the rind off until the whole pumpkin is peeled. This is the most labor-intensive part, but if you're slammed for time, they do sell pre-peeled chunks of butternut squash in the grocery store; it won't be quite as good as fresh, but it's still tasty. Dice the peeled pumpkin into 1" cubes and put them in the crockpot.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the crockpot. Turn it on low and cook 8-10 hours. As it nears the end of the cook time, give it a good stir and check the seasonings. Enjoy with hot yeast rolls or cornbread.

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