On a chilly East Coast bike ride day, there’s nothing better than a belly-warming dish that can stand up to the harsh weather. Our bike crew from “Living the CORDURA® Lifestyle” in RANGE Magazine Issue Two rode down to the Italian Market on South 9th Street in Philly this December to pick up the simple ingredients that comprise our Beef and Acorn Squash Stew recipe, which was adapted from Bon Appétit.
Chosen for the deep rich flavor of the beef, squash, chiles and avocado, as well as its serious ability to make us feel cozy, this spicy and slightly sweet Beef and Acorn Squash Stew is sure to offer comfort during any cold winter day.
Beef and Acorn Squash Stew
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 lb. Beef Chuck Roast, cut into ½” pieces
½ Acorn Squash, scrubbed, sliced into thin wedges, then into 1-inch pieces
1 Ancho Chile
1 Pasilla Chile
1 ½ onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12-ounce bottle of lager
1 Avocado, chopped for garnish
2 tablespoons Pepitas (toasted salted pumpkin seeds) for garnish
Sliced red onion for garnish
Toast Ancho and Pasilla chiles in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally and pressing down until they darken in color and begin to soften, about three minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with two cups of boiling water. Let the chiles sit for 30 minutes to soften. Once chiles have soaked 10 minutes, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Season beef with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about five minutes. At this point, quite a bit of liquid will have accumulated; continue to cook until it has evaporated, about three minutes. Transfer beef to a plate. When the chiles have soaked for 30 minutes, drain, remove the seeds and stems, and chop.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot, then the onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about six to eight minutes. Add the cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, for one minute.
Return the beef to the pot and add the lager. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost all the liquid has reduced, about four minutes. Add the chiles, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is slightly thickened and the meat is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add squash, then cover and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss pumpkin seeds and remaining 1 teaspoon of oil on a rimmed baking sheet with salt. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about eight to 10 minutes, and then let them cool.
Let the stew cool and serve it topped with avocado, red onion slices and Pepitas, or cover and chill and freeze up to one month.
Images by Michael Persico