Nothing says winter like slow cooker beef stew! This recipe also uses kabocha squash, which has an incredibly sweet and delicious flavor that’s similar to chestnuts. Because it has such a hearty texture, it holds up well for longer cooking times – it can simmer in stews and soups without turning to mush. Aromatics sautéed with savory herbs, Marsala wine, and sun-dried tomatoes add even more great flavor that only gets better the longer it cooks.
Slow Cooker Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds stew beef trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
- ½ cup Marsala wine
- 1 pound kabocha squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 cups beef broth
- Crusty bread for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and cook about 4 minutes or until the onions are tender.
- Place the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef cubes and toss gently to coat. Add the beef to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until the beef is browned on all sides and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer the beef and pan juices to the slow cooker. Add the squash, sun-dried tomatoes, and broth and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 hours until the beef and squash are tender. Serve with crusty bread and a sprinkle of parsley.