Slow-Cooker Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew

Slow-Cooker Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew
On a cold rainy night, there’s nothing like warming up to a bowl of hearty beef stew made in the crock pot with winter squash, Marsala wine and fresh herbs. Serve this with crusty bread and you have yourself a meal.
Slow-Cooker Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew
My kids and I love beef stew, but my husband doesn’t so I don’t make it as often as I would like. But I got my hands on Giada’s new cookbook Happy Cooking and can’t ever resist a slow cooker recipe, especially one with winter squash. Although this does require a little prepping, it’s worth the extra steps. If you work, you could aways get the first step ready the night before. (FYI my next cookbook is going to have TONS of slow cooker recipes!) I adapted this slightly from her book just cutting down on the olive oil and thought it was wonderful, and so did my kids.
Cutting the squash is probably the most time consuming part of the recipe, here’s an easy tip on how to peel squash. If you prefer you can use pre-cut butternut in it’s place.
Slow-Cooker Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew
Servings: 6 • Size: generous 1 1/3 cups • Points+: 8 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 347 • Fat: 14 g • Protein: 35 g • Carb: 17 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 4 g
Sodium: 510 mg • Cholesterol: 100 mg
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour (gluten free would work)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs stew beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 pound Kobacha squash, peeled seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Directions:
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook 4 minutes, or until the onion is tender.
Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef and toss gently to coat. Add the beef to the pan in batches and cook, turning occasionally until browned on all side and golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala and scrape up the browned bits from the pan.
Transfer everything to the slow cooker, add the squash, sun-dried tomatoes and broth and stir. Cover and cook 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Serve with crusty bread and sprinkle with parsley.