Hey Monday! Did you hear? The Broncos are going to the Super Bowl … yeehaw!* That game was a good way for the weekend to make up for the storm that was indeed a heartbreaker. Not only did we not get two feet of snow, we didn’t get a single flake!?! We spent all day Saturday waiting for the storm to come. TimTheFarmer had the plow blade on the truck, I got my workout in early, the chicken fence came down, and I had the stew meat defrosted. See? Country song. While we didn’t get a storm, we did have some great stew.
I was feeling so dejected by the storm that I was having trouble putting any effort into dinner (I might like snowstorms more than really good food) and found a recipe that required 5 ingredients and barely any work #sold. The recipe called for 2 pounds of stew meat and I’d only defrosted one, and it called for cauliflower rice and I didn’t have any cauliflower. You can see why I chose it right? I decided to take inspiration from the recipe and work with what I had. It was a blizzard outside after all and getting to the store was out of the question. #not
In paleo, cauliflower rice is an awesome substitute for rice or a starch when you need something to soak up the sauce. Another great option is spaghetti squash. I had 8 spaghetti squash (I told you I was ready for the storm…or they were on sale), so I decided to use that as a base for the stew. Am I the only one for whom spaghetti squash is a mind blower? Every time I cook one, I find it absolutely amazing that you’ve got this ready made spaghetti shape from a squash. And, if you don’t overcook it, it can be a decent pasta substitution.
I also added in bacon to make up for the missing stew meat. As we all know, bacon makes everything better.
Family consensus – delicious! The cinnamon with the beef, in a savory application, was totally unexpected, and really really tasty. Plus, the house smelled amazing. This is a super easy meal that we’ll definitely make again.
- 1lb stew meat, cut into 1" chunks
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 8 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2" chunks
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 4-6 cups beef broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Heat large pot over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until almost crispy. Remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel. Set aside.
- While bacon cooks, pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Once bacon is cooked and removed from pot, add beef in single layer to pot. If there is not at least 2 tbsp of fat in pan from bacon, add coconut oil to get you to 2 tbsp. Cook over medium heat until all sides of beef cubes are browned. Remove to a plate with slotted spoon.
- Add onions to pan, again adding fat if below 1-2 tbsp. Sauté onions until soft.
- Add beef and cinnamon sticks to the onions and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of beef broth, scraping the browned bits from the pan. Bring to a simmer and then turn heat down to low and simmer for 40-60 minutes until beef is fork tender. Keep an eye on the liquid and either cover the pot if the liquid is evaporating too quickly or add a bit more stock. You want the liquid to thicken to just cover the stew meat, but not burn off.
- When you add the beef broth, put the squash on a baking sheet, cut side down and cook for 30-40 minutes until a fork easily pierces the skin.** Remove from oven and let rest until stew is ready.
- When meat is fork tender, "fluff" the spaghetti squash by raking the flesh with a fork to remove from the skin.
- Serve the stew over a bed of spaghetti squash.
- **Be careful not to cook the squash until it's mushy as you'll lose the crisp spaghetti texture of the squash.