Beef stew recipe with pumpkin and beer
Delicious and comforting beef stew with pumpkin that is easy to make and can either be cooked in a slowcooker or in a regular Dutch oven. It’s comfort food at it’s finest and perfect for the fall season.
Beef stew with pumpkin
Originally I made this recipe for a challenge where we were given three ingredients and had to make something out of it. The ingredients in this case had the colors of Halloween, so obviously a fresh pumpkin had to be one of the items. I decided a homemade stew was the way to go. I love a good beef stew and especially in this time of year I find it the perfect dish to make. A slow cooker beef stew is not only delicious and warming but it is also super easy to make.
What do you need for this stew recipe?
For the recipe you need the following ingredients (but refer to the recipe card for the full instructions)
- beef stew meat
- tomato pasta
- yellow onion
- beef stock
- bay leaves
- fresh pumpkin
- bottle of dark beer
- garlic cloves
- black pepper
- little bit of sugar
In terms of the pumpkin; it is pumpkin season so you could pick different types of pumpkin for this recipe. I wouldn’t advise using pumpkin puree as that will give a different result. You do have to cut the pumpkin into pumpkin cubes or buy ready cubed pumpkin. For 4 people you need about one whole pumpkin. But again sizes can vary dramatically so use your best judgement here.
I originally made this recipe in a large Dutch oven (or use a large soup pot) but have also been using my slowcooker for this recipe as it is a perfect one for that. Instant pot is also great for this recipe. I especially like slow cooking in autumn and winter, even though you can definitely use it all year round.
Steps for cooking
The first steps for making this pumpkin stew or beef stew (I can’t decide which is the best name) is to cut the beef into cubes. You can quickly sear the beef before adding the seared beef to the Dutch oven or to the slowcooker. I do tend to skip this step if I use a slowcooker. If using an instant pot it is easier to put the machine on sauté and brown beef on all sides. You can use various cuts of beef for this recipe. Ground beef is also an option but will give a very different end result.
I always find it hard to name a cut of beef as the names are so different in various parts of the world, but any good stew meat will be fine to use here. Ask your butcher what is the best meat for a good stew.
Place your Dutch oven on medium-high heat and sear the beef. Then add the onion and the garlic (garlic powder is also an option) and add the carrot slices and the pumpkin cubes. For this first step I like to use butter but olive oil or coconut oil is also a good option to use.
Place the bay leaf in and add the dark beer. Add enough beef stock for all the ingredients to be submerged and turn the heat down to a low heat. I sometimes like to use fresh thyme leaves in addition to or rosemary. Another great addition is to add some tomato paste. Tomato has the tendency to break down the meat a little faster so that might help in tenderizing the meat for sure.
Now the stew needs about 3 to 4 hours to cook, but make sure to check on a regular basis if there is still enough liquid left in the pot and add a cup of water if needed.
Slow cooker recipe
As mentioned this is also delicious to make in a slow cooker. The preparations are pretty much the same, except you simply add all the ingredients in the bowl of the slowcooker. In terms of liquid; you don’t need as much in the slow cooker, so after adding the beer add enough liquid so the contents of the slow cooker are about half way into the liquid. You will find that is usually more then enough and will give a nicer result. I tend to leave it alone for about 8 hours and just stir it once or twice.
The end result will be deliciously tender beef.
You can serve it with some crusty bread or mashew potato. Sweet potatoes are also delicious for serving. In fact you could add the sweet potatoes to the crock pot as well, but they do disintegrate much more than pumpkin. Which is fine and it does give make texture of the stew a bit thicker. I do love the pumpkin flavor here so I tend to stick to that. The beef pumpkin stew is perfect for a cold day or any day where you’re in need of a warming comfort food dish.
This recipe also freezes really well, so I tend to double the amounts in the recipe and freeze it in batches. That way I always have an earthy stew waiting for me in the fridge on days where I do not feel like cooking anything new. It’s the perfect recipe for meal prep as well. Once defrosted you can change it up by adding something like black beans for instance.
I had never before used pumpkin to cook or bake anything, so the first thing we had to do was buy a pumpkin. We went to the Noordermarkt in Amsterdam where they have a lovely organic market, so that is where we bought pumpkins (yes, I bought two different ones, so expect at least one more pumpkin recipe soon!) and organically produced beef for our stew. For the beer wanted to use stout as that is dark and lovely and all the other ingredients I still had in the kitchen so here is the recipe that we made:
I could see endless variations of this dish really and the pumpkin and sugar give it a nice little bit of sweetness. While simmering on the stove the smells that came of it where delicious!! Especially the cinnamon was very noticeable. I did detect a very slight bitter aftertaste to the dish, which I somehow feel might be because of the cinnamon but not sure.
In any way, we were both really really pleased with this lovely stew and will definitely be making this again! Perfect for a rainy and stormy autumn day (well, it’s sunny here today… 🙂 ) but you know what I mean.
Also try this delicious and slightly different white wine chicken from the slow cooker.
Beef stew with beer and pumpkin
- Dutch oven
- 500 gr. beef
- 30 gr butter
- 4 small onions sliced
- 1 pumpkin cut in cubes
- 300 gr carrots sliced
- 1 bottle dark beer
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 cloves
- 1 pcs mace
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 300 ml beef stock or enough to submerge the meat
- Cut the beef in chunks of about 2 cm and put pepper and salt on them. Put the butter in a Dutch oven and once the butter stops foaming add the meat. Bake the meat for about 10 minutes on medium high till it is browned.
- Cut up 3 onions in rough pieces and add them to the meat. Bake for another 5 minutes. Add the carrots and the pumpkin and stir around. Add the bottle of beer.
- Stick the cloves into the remaining onion (you can leave it whole, it will fall apart anyway) and add this together with the mace, bay leaf and cinnamon stick to the meat.
- Add beef stock so that there is enough liquid to just cover the meat and veggies inside. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and put the lid on.
- Leave to simmer on low heat for about 3-4 hours or until the beef is tender and falls apart.
- Check half way through the cooking process to make sure there is still enough liquid in the pan and add some more if needed.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, crusty bread or rice.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.