Beef and Butternut Squash Stew
- 900g/2lb lean braising or stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm/1inch cubes (we used shin)
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 30ml/2tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 25g/1oz plain flour
- 45ml/3tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 600ml/1pint good, hot beef stock
- 30ml/2tbsp sweet sherry or Marsala wine
- 1 star anise, optional
- 350g/12oz butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed
- 50g/2oz kale or spring greens, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Place the seasoning, mixed herbs and flour in a large plastic food bag. Add the beef and coat well in the seasoned flour.
Heat 30ml/2tbsp oil in a large non-stick frying pan and brown the beef in batches. Transfer to a 1.7L/3pint flame/ovenproof casserole dish.
In the same frying pan heat the remaining oil and cook the onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes then transfer to the casserole dish. Add a little stock to the pan and stir to release any sediment. Pour into the casserole dish.
Add the remaining stock, sherry or wine and star anise if using. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook on the hob or in a preheated oven at Gas mark 3, 170°C, 325°F for 2½-3 hours, or until the beef is tender. 40 minutes before the end of the cooking time add the butternut squash or pumpkin.
10 minutes before the end of the cooking time stir through the kale or spring greens.
Garnish the stew with the parsley and serve with creamy mash.