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Slow cooker sweet and sour beef stew with carrots and squash

Get your slow cooker on for this sweet and sour beef stew with carrots and butternut squash.

Just when it seems I've fed my husband Ted every imaginable variation of beef stew, I hit on another flavor combination that becomes a new favorite. So it is with this sweet and sour beef stew, made easily in the slow cooker.

The seasonings for this stew draw on Moroccan tradition, cinnamon and allspice paired with dried fruit (raisins, though you could substitute dried apricots). Brown sugar boosts the sweetness, and apple cider vinegar provides the sour. Overall, the combination is lighter than my traditional wine-based stew. Carrots and butternut squash are the perfect addition, because they, too, become sweeter with long cooking. Serve the stew over pasta, as we do, or couscous or rice. Like most stews, this one freezes well, and is even better on the second day.

Slow cooker sweet and sour beef stew with carrots and squash, perfect for a chilly winter supper.

Slow cooker sweet and sour beef stew with carrots and squash {gluten-free}

From the pantry you'll need: olive oil, onion, allspice, cinnamon, canned chopped tomatoes, cider vinegar, brown sugar, raisins, Kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Serves 8.


2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 2-inch chunks
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes (with their juice)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into1-1/2 inch chunks
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp cornstarch


Dry the beef with paper towels. Season lightly on all sides with salt and pepper.

If you have a Ninja Cooking System or other slow cooker in which you can brown the meat, set the cooker to stovetop high heat the olive oil. Brown the meat on all sides. (Or, brown the meat in a nonstick skillet on the stove, and add it to the slow cooker.)

Set your slow cooker to HIGH. Add the onion, allspice and cinnamon, stir to combine with the meat, and cook for 3 minutes until fragrant.

Switch the cooker to LOW, pour in the tomatoes, cover and cook for 2 hours.

Then, add the carrots, squash, cider vinegar, sugar and raisins, and cook on LOW for an additional 5-1/2 or 6 hours, until the meat is falling-apart tender and the vegetables are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water to make a paste. Raise heat to HIGH, and stir the cornstarch mix into the stew to thicken slightly.

Serve hot, over noodles, couscous or rice.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More beef stew:
Slow cooker honey Sriracha beef stew, from The Perfect Pantry
French style beef stew with onions, mushrooms and peas, from The Perfect Pantry
Slow cooker Southwestern beef stew with tomatoes, olives, and chiles, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Irish beef stew, from Simply Recipes

Slow cooker sweet and sour beef stew, with carrots and butternut squash.

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Sounds like a great combination to me. I like the idea of sweet and sour flavors with beef.

Thanks for the shout-out for my Southwestern Beef Stew!

That butternut squash on my counter just found a purpose! I will make a batch and share with my parents, since dad loves beef stew and is on a low sodium diet. So many flavors here without the salt. This will make his day!

Kalyn, I've become a real fan of cinnamon in beef stews, thanks to a well-stocked pantry!

Janice, my husband is a real fan of sweet things, and this stew has just enough sweetness. With so many flavors going on, you'll never miss the salt.

Hello ! I am not gluten free but this is on my to do list. Good meals are good meals ! Thank you and have a pleasant day !

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