I have never cut up a fresh squash.
In the past, I’ve always just purchased a tray of pre-cut butternut squash at the grocery store (God bless Trader Joe’s!). And why shouldn’t I? It’s done and it always seems to be the amount I need-about 3 cups. For the past three weeks, I’ve received a different squash each week in the CSA box and have placed them in a bowl on the dining room table. As much as I appreciate my ready-made fall decoration, I realize it’s not practical and it’s time to make something wonderful with at least one of these. Peeling a squash is no easy task. The size makes it difficult to work with. Also, it has curves-a bad thing for those of us who are cutlery challenged. Regardless, I pressed on and got it done. One butternut squash produced about three cups of cubed goodness.
When the weather turns cooler ( in reality, so far we have only had a couple of days that have dipped below 70), I yearn for one pot meals. The kind of dish or soup that you combine on the stove and serve up with some crusty bread or a salad.
This recipe is adapted slightly from a Cooking Light recipe. The cinnamon in this dish fills the house with a wonderful smell as it cooks. Serve it up with some brown basmati rice or couscous, sauteed spinach, and a bold red wine. It’s guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
beef tagine with butternut squash
1 pound beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
fresh cilantro for garnishing (optional)
Combine paprika, cinnamon, salt, ginger, red pepper (if using), black pepper, and cloves in a medium bowl. Add beef cubes and toss to coat. Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef and onions; cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add squash; cover, reduce heat,and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender.
You can stop right here and serve it up or, if it’s a little thin, you can add a thickener. Place one tablespoon of flour in a coffee cup and slow add cold water while stirring until it’s creamy (but still thick). Add to tagine while stirring. Continue cooking 1-2 minutes while it thickens.
Serve with fresh cilantro.