An Easy Moroccan Beef Stew with Lemons and Butternut Squash

Moroccan Beef StewThese days, the sun is so low in the sky, and it’s been dark for two hours or more by the time we sit down to eat dinner. I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, but I love to have something in the oven, making the house smell so good and comforting at the end of the day. This recipe for Moroccan Beef Stew is something I’ve been making regularly. It’s one of those “cheater” kinds of stews requiring no browning of meat or any kind of cooking diligence. I put it all in the pot, let it cook in the oven, then add some vibrant chunks of butternut squash at the end– for a meal that is bright, warming, and seems like something that took a whole lot more effort than it really did.  The ras el hanout is floral and warming, and cooking lemons with their peels produces a flavor that is vivid, pungent and slightly sweet.  Just what we need on a cold wintry evening!

Easy Moroccan Spiced Beef Stew with Lemons and Butternut Squash

What You’ll Need

  • 3 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs (or 1 kilo) beef cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 T ras el hanout spice
  • 1 T sea salt
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 C unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 C beef stock (you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock if you need to, or water.)
  • 2 whole, organic lemons (1 of them quartered and thinly sliced, seeds removed)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • Optional: greens– I used some beet greens and stems from our garden
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

You will also need a dutch oven or similar pot that can be put in the oven.

What to Do:

  1. Place all of the ingredients except for the butternut and cilantro into your dutch oven.
  2. Bring to a simmer on your stovetop over medium-high heat, then move to a 300 oven and cook for 2 hours.
  3. Add the butternut squash and stir into the pot, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. If you are using some greens, then now is the time to add the chopped stems, if using. If the stew is already thick, you can add some more liquid.  Cook in the oven for 1/2 an hour more, until the squash is tender.
  4. Take your stew out of the oven.  Stir it up and taste it.  If needed, add extra lemon juice and salt. Stir in the leafy greens, if using.  Throw the chopped cilantro in the pot and cover again for a few minutes, until the herbs turn bright green.
  5. Serve over rice (we eat our with cauliflower rice) or eat it on its own as you would a hearty stew.  Enjoy!

Moroccan Beef Stew* Note: This recipe can also be made in a crockpot, following instructions for your favorite crockpot stew and adding the cilantro at the end.


Easy Moroccan Beef Stew

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30 Responses to An Easy Moroccan Beef Stew with Lemons and Butternut Squash

  1. CherrieMiller December 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this info! :)

    • ariana January 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      You are very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  2. Lynne December 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    I’m trying this today – what do you do with the other lemon that you don’t slice

    • ariana December 23, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

      Hi Lynne! The other lemon is for squeezing the juice from, to taste, at the end of cooking.

  3. Col April 4, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I made Moroccan Beef Stew last week. I thought I would have enough for 2 dinners. Not so much. My husband and son got a hold of it and it was gone, gone, gone. Yum, this is a make again1

    • ariana April 16, 2014 at 8:27 am #

      Oh! Sorry you didn’t get leftovers, and SO glad your family loved it! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and let me know– it always makes me happy.

  4. Ellen December 13, 2014 at 2:51 am #

    This was delicious – and so easy it was almost ridiculous. I mixed up the spice blend using this recipe from Epicurious since I couldn’t find it in my grocery store. (Next time I will leave the salt out of the blend.) Thanks for sharing this!

  5. C.R. December 20, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    I have made this almost a dozen times in just a few months. We love it and so do all of our guests. Thanks so much!

  6. Lexi January 23, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    when you say 2 cans of beef stock? how many ounces each can?

    • ariana February 1, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

      Lexi, the C stands for cups, not cans. Hopefully that clears things up! :)

  7. Kelly Smith March 13, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    LOVE this recipe, Ariana! So I included it in my contributor post – “50 Fabulous Grain-Free Slow Cooker Meals” – over at Keeper of the Home. I hope it sends lots of new friends your way! :)


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