Darina Allen Says Her Make-Ahead Irish Beef and Butternut Squash Stew 'Improves in Flavor Over Several Days'

“Juicy cubes of pumpkin or butternut squash work brilliantly in this recipe and help to bulk up the stew," says the founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School

<p>Morgan Hunt Glaze</p> Darina Allen

Morgan Hunt Glaze

Darina Allen's Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

To add a twist to an Irish staple, Darina Allen looks to seasonal produce.

"I love to cook with the seasons, and of course we’ve got an abundance of root vegetables at present and some pumpkins from last year's harvest," says the founder of Ireland’s Ballymaloe Cookery School. “Juicy cubes of pumpkin or butternut squash work brilliantly in this recipe and help to bulk up the stew."

The “rich and beefy” dish, which is adapted from Allen's cookbook Grow, Cook, Nourish, is ideal for leftovers because it “improves in flavor over several days.”

"Consider cooking twice or three times the recipe and pop some in the freezer for other meals," Allen suggests.

Darina Allen's Irish Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1½ lbs. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1½-in. cubes

1 tsp. sea salt

1 small butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-in. pieces (about 3 cups)

2 large carrots, cut into 1-in. pieces

2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1½-in.-thick pieces

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

6 cups beef stock

½ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high until shimmering. Toss together beef and salt in a large bowl. Add beef to hot oil; cook, turning once, until browned on 2 sides, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a large bowl; set aside. (Do not wipe Dutch oven clean.)

2. Add squash, carrots and parsnips to Dutch oven, and reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is browned on edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl.

3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to Dutch oven. Add onion; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes.

4. Add beef stock to Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add browned beef, black pepper and crushed red pepper; reduce heat to medium, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and gently simmer until meat is partially cooked, about 1 hour. Add squash mixture; cook until meat is fork-tender and vegetables are soft, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with parsley.

Serves: 4

Active time: 25 minutes

Total time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

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