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Kalyn's Kitchen

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar

Stew with beef, butternut squash, rosemary, and balsamic vinegar.
This delicious stew has beef, butternut squash, rosemary, and balsamic vinegar.

For weeks now I’ve been having fun sharing Thanksgiving Recipes , and yesterday I even posted Turkey Soup recipes for using up leftover turkey. It’s time to change the menu a little, at least for a day, and focus on a delicious dish I tried recently that has absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving.

With butternut squash that had been hanging out in the fridge for a few days, and some beef tri tip strips thawed out, I wondered what I could make with both. I went to Foodieview and found this Venetian recipe. I like the sound of it, and remembered how I loved the combination of butternut squash and rosemary when I made Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar.

The recipe called for veal, so I wasn’t sure how rosemary would compliment the flavor of beef, but this was a combination I loved. The recipe morphed quite a bit from the original! I started with 2 cups of cubed squash, but when I realized the squash had mostly dissolved into the beef stock, I added another cup of squash chunks for the final 20 minutes. The finished dish had chunks of tender beef and squash combined in a stew also thickened by squash. This combination worked well, and the recipe is one I’ll definitely be making again. Here are a few highlights of how I did it. (Complete recipe after the photos.)

Cut beef tri-tip or top sirloin into pieces about 1 1/2 inches square.

Cut butternut squash (or other winter squash) into cubes the same size as the beef.

I used fresh rosemary from my garden which I had frozen. You could use dried rosemary, but be sure it’s finely chopped.

Brown the beef well in a small amount of olive oil. I used my new pan, which I absolutely love.

Beef simmers with squash, onions, rosemary, balsamic vinegar , and beef stock for about 40 minutes, or until most of the squash has dissolved into the stock. Then add 1 cup squash cut into smaller pieces and cook 20 minutes more.

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
(4 servings, recipe inspired by Epicurious.com with many adaptations by Kalyn)

1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp. olive oil (or more, depends on your pan)
1 pound beef tri-tip or top sirloin, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups plus 1 cup butternut squash cubes, cut 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups beef stock (or use one can low sodium beef broth)
1/4 cup water
1 T chopped fresh or frozen rosemary or 2 tsp. finely chopped dried rosemary (or more if you really like rosemary)
2 T balsamic vinegar (or more, I use Fini brand)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Put one tsp. olive oil into pan, heat a minute and then saute onions until they soften and are just starting to brown. Remove onions from pan, add second tsp. olive oil and beef cubes and saute until beef is well browned on all sides, about five minutes.

Pour in 1/4 cup water and scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Then add sauteed onion, 2 cups squash cubes, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, and beef stock. Lower heat, cover pan, and cook at a gentle simmer until squash is dissolving into the liquid. (Depending on how well your pan lid fits, you may need to add a little water at this point.)

Cut remaining cup squash cubes in half again to make smaller pieces and add to stew. Taste for seasoning to see if you want to add a tiny bit more balsamic vinegar. Cook 20 minutes more or until squash is cooked through. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve hot.

Butternut Squash is one of my favorite kinds of squash, and I have fond memories of eating it with my Grandmother Denny when I was a young girl. There are two types of squash, and butternut is a winter squash. (See The How to of Winter Squash for some great information from Chrispy of Experimentation of Taste.) In many parts of the world, butternut is regarded as a pumpkin, and it can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Butternut squash provides many health benefits, and is considered one of the World’s Healthiest Foods.

South Beach Suggestions:
(If you’re a South Beach fan, be aware that butternut or other winter squash are much higher on the glycemic index than summer squash. Although winter squash is not specifically restricted, I would eat it in small servings and for phase two or three only. Combining the squash with meat, as is done in this recipe, makes the total dish have a much lower glycemic load.)

More Tasty Ideas with Butternut Squash:
(Some recipes may not be South Beach Diet approved, so check ingredients if you’re following South Beach.)
Butternut Squash Soup from What Did You Eat
Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash from Simply Recipes
Butternut Squash Muffins from 101 Cookbooks
Butternut Squash Bisque with Maple Syrup and Sage from Christine Cooks
Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with Italian Sausage and Quince from Experimentation of Taste
Butternut Squash Risotto with Sausage, Pancetta, and Leeks from Stephen Cooks
Lazy Man’s Butternut Squash Ravioli from Beyond Salmon

There are lots more butternut squash recipes in my Blogher post where I announced that Butternut Squash is a Beautiful Thing.

You’ve figured out with all the butternut squash information this is my post for Weekend Herb Blogging #60, which is being hosted by the uber-talented Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. If you’re interested in participating, send your permalink to hellohaalo AT gmail DOT com.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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10 comments on “Beef and Butternut Squash Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar”

  1. Thanks for the nice feedback. So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. This was excellent. Followed the recipe word for word. Will not disappoint those who have family members that think they don't like squash or balsamic. 5 Stars

  3. glorious looking stew!!!! I can’t wait to try it out.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. How handy is this!?

    We still have some rosemary left from the bunch I bought the other day AND a butternut squash has been sitting for about a week in the unheated area by the back door as I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it…

    Thank you for posting the resolution, Kalyn!


  5. Sher, Christine, Braden, Mimi, thanks for dropping by and a belated happy thanksgiving.

    Katie, I think pumpkin would taste fine with this, although it’s a bit richer flavor. Let me know if you try it.

  6. This looks and sounds wonderful, I love stews…wonder if I can sub pumpkin (which I have lots of)…

  7. Thank you for all you do here, Kalyn, providing us with low-carb ideas so that TG can be a celebration, even for those of us watching what we eat (and those of us photograhing it).

  8. YUMMMMMM!!!!! I love the way you take photographs of your ingredients, etc. Very well done, too!

  9. All my favorite ingredients Kalyn! What a fabulous recipe!
    Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and thanks so much for mentioning my bisque!

  10. I love tri-tip and stew, and butternut squash! So, those terrific picture have my mouth watering. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving Kalyn!!! And thanks for mentioning my soup!!! Hugs!

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