This recipe for cinnamon beef stew with butternut squash and mushrooms is yet another installment in my “grassfed on a budget” series. We get stew meat as part of our grassfed beef larder order, but I also snap it up when I see it on sale at my butcher and toss it in the freezer. Generally speaking, when it is labeled and packaged as “stew meat” it is the trimmed pieces off of roasts. That means you usually get a pretty good deal, but the size will be inconsistent. This doesn’t bother me because it isn’t a big deal to chop the pieces into even sizes as they go into the pan, but if you’d rather control the quality or you aren’t able to find anything labeled as “stew meat” just purchase any of the tougher cuts that contain words like chuck, round, or rump.
On to the recipe… First of all, I must give credit where credit is due. This dish was strongly inspired by the amazing Melissa Joulwan’s recipe for Cinnamon Beef Stew with Orange Gremolata as published in her book Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love To Eat. If you don’t already have that cookbook, stop what you are doing right now and click on that link over to Amazon and order yourself a copy! While you are there, also throw her second book -Well Fed 2 - into your cart. I haven’t read that one yet as (it’s on my Christmas list) but the reviews I’ve seen so far suggest it is a winner too.
Melissa was a freakin’ genius here to put cinnamon in beef stew. I can’t believe how it well it works with beef and turns what is usually a comforting but rather bland dish into something truly delicious. I made a few tweaks to mine, most significantly of all adding some more vegetables and deleting some other items so that it meets my paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) requirements. I also increased the cooking time because I like my stew meat to be really well stewed and falling apart. I highly encourage you to make my version AND try out Melissa’s version some time. I guarantee that you will love them both!
Notes for healing diets: I am pleased to say that this recipe is appropriate for virtually all healing diets without significant modifications. It is SCD legal as written and for AIP you only need to omit the black pepper, unless you are able to tolerate seed based spices. For low-FODMAP you will need to omit the onion and garlic.
- 1 pound grassfed beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- salt and pepper (omit pepper for AIP)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
- 3 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh sage
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- zest from 1 orange
- 1 clove garlic
- Salt and pepper beef generously. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt coconut oil over medium heat, then sear the beef on all sides. Remove meat and set aside.
- In the same pot, saute the carrot, onion, celery, mushrooms, and garlic for about 3 minutes.
- Add the broth and vinegar to the pan, scraping up the brown bits, and cook until it begins to reduce and thicken slightly.
- Return meat to the pot and add 2 cups water, more salt and pepper to taste, bay leaves, rosemary, sage, and cinnamon sticks.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and place lid on pot. Simmer for 1 hour.
- If stew is very dry, add up to one additional cup of water.
- Add butternut squash, cover, and allow to cook undisturbed for another 45 minutes.
- Turn heat off and let stew cool slightly while you prepare the garnish.
- Chop parsley, orange zest, and garlic and mix together.
- Ladle stew into serving bowls and garnish with orange, parsley, garlic mixture.
Want more recipes like this? Check out this Winter Vegetable Paleo Recipe Roundup from Like a Normal Person!
Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundup.