Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chipotle Beef Stew in Squash Boats


Yesterday I was going to post a recipe, but when I went to the folder on my desktop where I store my photos-in-waiting, it was empty. Hmm? Out of posts? "What a loser!" you say. What kind of food blogger runs out of recipes? Well, you know we all fall a little flat sometimes, eating the same-old, same-old. But then this morning, my son reminded me of a dish we really enjoyed that I had forgotten to post. Where was that picture? I went back to i-Photo and found several great dishes that I had forgotten about. Well, all I can do is blame my age. ;-)

I saw this dish prepared one night on Food Network. It was the winner of one of the Food Network's new recipe cook off shows. I think it was sponsored by the beef industry. If I remember correctly they were all beef recipes. This one really stood out because my family has a love for all things chipotle, and I'll tell you, it did not disappoint. The kids even thought it was really cool that the meat was served in squash boats. Bonus -- they ate veggies! The sweet squash was a great contrast to the spicy meat (and it was spicy!). I could not find butternut squash when I was at the store, so I used acorn squash, but it tastes almost the same, and the method for cooking is the same as for butternut. I also used the chipotle peppers instead of the ground chipotle pepper (as noted below the recipe). The recipe says it serves four. I increased the meat to 1.5 times the recipe and we ate every bite, so don't hesitate to double the meat -- it would make great leftovers.

Chipotle Beef Stew in Squash Boats
serves 4
Printer version

1 1/2 lbs. beef for stew
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. ground chipotle chile pepper
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 medium butternut squash, about 3 pounds (
I used two and a half acorn squashes -- one half for each person)
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small ripe avocado, cut into cubes, optional
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the beef, water, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, chipotle pepper, cumin, salt and black pepper in stockpot. Cover and bake in 325 degrees F oven 2 to 2 1/4 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
Meanwhile, cut squash lengthwise into quarters and remove seeds. Place squash cut side down in a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish, overlapping if necessary. Add water. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until fork-tender.
Place each baked squash quarter onto serving plate. Fill with equal amounts of beef mixture. Top with tomato and avocado, if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro.
Cook's Tip: 1 tablespoon minced, seeded chipotle pepper in adobo sauce may be substituted for ground chipotle chile pepper.
Cook's Tip: The chipotle beef mixture may also be cooked on the stovetop. Bring beef mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours or until beef is fork-tender.

Source: Food Network

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