I took a trip to one of my local supermarkets and came upon some wonderful looking squash, and of course I picked them up knowing that i would use them...one way or another.
This time it had to be in a nice warming autumnal stew, I had some chestnuts leftover as well so I decided these would work well in it as well as the squash with the cubes beef I had, so after spending most of my preperation time cutting these squash up ( I may have muscles like arnie now hehe) I had made the most wonderful smelling stew which after the 2 1/2 hours had filled the house with the most wonderful warming smell.
This is a really simple stew (except maybe for the cutting up of the squash) throw it all in one pan, pop it in the oven, add dumplings if you like and bobs your uncle ...fantastic family meal :))
Beef, Squash and Chestnut Stew
400g cubed beef
100g kabocha squash
100g butternut squash
100g onion squash
1/2 courgette chopped
1 onion chopped
2 carrots peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1/4 bottle red wine
500ml beef stock
1 tsp tomato purée
100g chestnuts (pre cooked) chopped
5 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
125g self raising flour
62.5g butter cold
Salt and pepper
Pour some flour into a bowl and season the beef with salt and pepper, then roll into the flour
In a casserole pan, and heat some oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook for around 10 minutes until softened, add the garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for a further minute.
Add the beef and cook for a couple of minutes (not too long, you don't want to cook it)
Add the vegetables and mix through and add the red wine and turn up the heat and bubble for a minute to burn away the alcohol. Add the stock, and tomato purée and mix through. Add the chestnuts and bay leaves, salt and pepper and stir in, pop on a lid and pop into a pre heated oven (150/140c fan) for around 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
To make the dumplings
In a bowl add the flour, some salt and pepper and cut the cold butter into cubes and using your fingers rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
Pour a small amount of milk into the flour/butter mixture and mix until you get a soft dough, you may need to add milk slowly until you get the right consistency (use your hands to bind the dough together as if you use a knife, it doesn't always come together until it gets to gooey)
Split into 5 and shape into balls
About half an hour until the stew is done, remove the stew from the oven, take off the lid and pop the dumplings in. Return to the oven with the lid on for another half an hour and remove and serve with potatoes and vegetables