I love making stews in the oven and the flavor is spot on! This is perfect for fall and I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as mine did!
Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
6 slices of uncured, nitrate-free bacon (chopped into pieces)
2 lbs stew meat
salt and pepper
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, and cut into cubes)
5-6 cups organic chicken broth
2 bay leaves
10 stems of thyme (leaves removed or you can pick out stems later)
1/4 – 1/2 ts ground nutmeg
Heat oven to 325ºF.
In a dutch oven over the stove, brown bacon pieces over medium heat until done. Remove bacon, leaving grease in pot, and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to use as a topping later.
Season stew meat generously with salt and pepper. Carefully place stew meat in bacon grease and brown in batches so it’s not overcrowded. Set browned meat aside on a separate paper towel line plate.
Saute onions in the remaining grease until translucent. Season them generously with salt and pepper. Add a little broth to the bottom of the pot so you can scrape up the brown bits. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir together and place lid on dutch oven.
Bake in the oven 2.5 – 3 hours until meat and squash is tender. Top with bacon bits before serving. You can mash up some of the squash if you want a thicker consistency.
If you want to do this in a slow cooker, cook the bacon, brown the meat in the bacon grease, and saute the onion in the bacon grease. Then, you can add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook for 6 – 8 hours on low.