Monday, November 14, 2011

Paleo Pumpkin Beef Stew By Life As A Plate

Well the title pretty much sums this all up. I make soups and stews a lot, and often I make what we call “schtoups” – a hybrid somewhere between a super thick stew and a thin, brothy soup. Because we don’t use gluten and I try and remain grain-free whenever possible, I’ve learned some new tricks to thicken stews and such using real food ingredients, rather than nutritionally useless flour. For instance, I started thickening my chili with refried beans, and my creamier soups with mashed yellow potatoes or yams.
For this recipe, to keep with the fall-ish flavors, I used canned pumpkin to thicken it. This keeps the recipe totally Paleo for those of you who do so. It worked perfectly and is mild enough not to overpower the beef and sage flavors, but mixes great with the cranberries, squash, and slight touch of nutmeg. I add the squash in the last two hours of cooking; otherwise, I find it disintegrates and you lose the nice chunks. If you don’t have time to do this, just stir the pureed pumpkin in very gently to try and not to break up the squash.

Recipe: Paleo Pumpkin Stew with Acorn Squash and Cranberries
2 lbs stew meat
3 c. beef bone broth/stock
1 lg yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (helps tenderize meat, adds no flavor)
1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
1 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 medium acorn squash, peeled, seeded, diced into squares
2 1/2-3 c. pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
2/3 c. dried cranberries
Add all ingredients except pumpkin, squash and cranberries to crockpot and set on low for 8 hours.
At least one-two hours prior to serving, add the pumpkin to thicken, stirring thoroughly.
Add squash and cranberries. (The reason we add these last is so the squash doesn’t disintegrate in the crockpot).


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