Beef Stew in Butternut Squash Bowls & More

delicious beef stew served with herb-cheese spread... 

The delicious smells of this savory beef stew filled my house.  One by one as my family walked into the house they each commented about the delicious aroma.  

Cooking isn't only about the food, or the eating, or the pleasure of the table.  It's also about the smells!  Certain foods offer up delicious aromas that can make your whole house smell amazing.  This is one of those!  Hearty, comforting, aromatic!  

For a fun twist, I dressed it up by serving the stew in butternut squash bowls, along with an equally delicious Herb-Cheese Spread on toasted sliced French baguettes.  Deeeelicious!

Beef Stew and Mushrooms


3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1-1/2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup pure grape juice (or dry red wine)
3 bay leaves
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (8-ounce) package whole white mushrooms, quartered
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Butternut Squash Bowls (recipe below)


1.  In a medium Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and celery to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.  Remove from pan, and set aside.  Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in pan. 

2.  Season beef with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Add half of beef to pan; cook for 3 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally.  Remove from pan.  Repeat procedure with remaining beef.  Return onion mixture and beef to pan.  Add broth, wine (or grape juice - I add 1 teaspoon vinegar to the juice), bay leaves, tomatoes, and mushrooms.  Cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour or until beef is almost tender.  Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, carrots, parsley, and thyme.  Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until beef and carrots are tender.

3.  In a small bowl, place flour; whisk in water.  Stir into beef mixture.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 3 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in red wine vinegar.  Discard bay leaves.  Serve stew in Butternut Squash Bowls.  Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Butternut Squash Bowls


6 medium butternut squash
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


1.  Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.  Set aside.

2.  Remove narrow portion of each squash; reserve for another use (like butternut squash soup - I'll be sharing a delicious recipe soon).  Discard seeds from squash.  Brush inside of squash with oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Place squash cut side down on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted into squash.

Note:  Choose squash that are about 4-1/2 to 5 inches at the base.  You don't need large squash.

Butternut squash cuts easily so it's easy to make a level cut.  When they come out of the oven they look beautiful!

Besides looking delectable, the squash is a delicious addition to the stew and easy to prepare!

You definitely need to serve it with this Herb-Cheese Spread topping.  You can count on this recipe being a favorite!  Everyone loves it and it looks so chic.  Your family or guests will love it, too!

Herb-Cheese Spread


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Toasted French bread slices, for serving


1.  In a mixer bowl, combine cheeses, rosemary, sage, milk, garlic powder, and pepper.  Beat at medium speed with a mixer until blended.  Serve with French bread.

NOTE:  Store in refrigerator

For the toasted French baguette slices preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Place the slices on a baking sheet.  Lightly brush the tops with olive oil.  Lightly sprinkle with garlic salt (optional).  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Watch closely, it doesn't take long.  You can also find pre-made Crostini's in your grocery store.

You will definitely want to try this no-fail spread. It is amazing and would be a great appetizer for your next gathering.

You won't want to miss any posts this week.  I'm excited about all the great things coming up...

including a tutorial for these lovely napkin rosettes...

 inspiration for fabulous centerpieces for your Thanksgiving table...

 tablescape inspiration for your Thanksgiving dinner, home tour, and much more.

See you soon!

Original recipes and image 17: Southern Lady, The Autumn Issue, 2015, p.84


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