Beef-and-Butternut Stew 


Embrace the flavors of fall with this delicious recipe.

Beef-and-Butternut Stew
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Cook Time:
3 hrs
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins

Forget everything you know about butternut squash. You'll often find this favorite winter squash roasted with brown sugar or pureed to make a pretty, autumnal soup, but this year, we're changing things up. Butternut squash gets a new name in this rich, deeply savory Beef-and-Butternut Stew.

All too often, butternut squash recipes go overboard with sweetness. We take a different approach with this stew. For this beef and butternut squash stew, our Test Kitchen sought to create a warming, stick-to-your-bones dinner that feels really special. Butternut squash can stand all on its own (you'll often find this hearty squash starring in vegetarian mains), but in this dish, it works alongside a beef to create a well-balanced, multi-dimensional stew. The beef is incredibly tender while maintaining its shape, swimming in a glossy, thick broth, fortified by a dark roux and red wine. The fresh orange juice brightens everything up while providing a little bit of acid to draw out the flavor of the vegetables and beef.

The aroma of this stew simmering on the stovetop is powerful; it's wonderful for a cold or rainy day spent inside. Serve with crusty sourdough or cornbread and a glass of red wine.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1½-inch pieces

  • 3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons black pepper, divided

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, finely chopped (2 cups)

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick pieces (1 cup)

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 cups dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)

  • 4 cups unsalted beef broth

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • 4 cups butternut squash, cut into ¾-inch cubes 

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided

  • 1 cup sour cream 

  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice, divided (from 1 orange)

  • Thinly sliced chives


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Season beef with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Working in batches if necessary, add beef to Dutch oven in an even layer. Cook, turning occasionally, until beef is well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate; remove and reserve 1 tablespoon drippings.

  2. Add flour to remaining drippings in Dutch oven. Cook, stirring constantly, until dark golden brown in color and nutty in aroma, about 4 minutes. Add onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetable mixture is evenly coated, about 1 minute. Add red wine, stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over medium. Boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid bubbles and is reduced by half, about 7 minutes.

  3. Add beef broth, bay leaves, and browned beef to Dutch oven, and bring to a gentle boil over medium. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until beef is just tender, about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Add butternut squash and 1 teaspoon of the chopped thyme. Continue simmering, uncovered, over low, skimming and discarding fat that rises to the surface, until squash is tender and liquid has thickened, about 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, whisk together sour cream, grated orange zest, reserved 1 tablespoon drippings, 1 teaspoon of the orange juice, ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons chopped thyme in a medium bowl until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap; chill until ready to use.

  5. Remove bay leaves from stew. Season stew with remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons orange juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Divide among 6 bowls, and top each with 2 heaping tablespoons sour cream mixture. Garnish with thinly sliced chives; serve immediately.

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