These 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 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 or ghee
- 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)*
*Some people love the pungent, bitter notes that using whole lemons gives, while others do not. If you are unsure, just squeeze the juice from the lemons and zest them. Whatever you do, make sure you keep ALL of the lemon seeds out of the stew!
- 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:
- Place all of the ingredients except for the butternut and cilantro into your dutch oven.
- Bring to a simmer on your stove top over medium-high heat, then move to a 300 oven and cook for 2 hours.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve over rice (we eat our with cauliflower rice) or eat it on its own as you would a hearty stew. Enjoy!
* Note: This Moroccan Beef Stew can also be made in a crockpot, following instructions for your favorite crockpot stew and adding the cilantro at the end.
Thanks for sharing this info! 🙂
You are very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to comment!
I’m trying this today – what do you do with the other lemon that you don’t slice
Hi Lynne! The other lemon is for squeezing the juice from, to taste, at the end of cooking.
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
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.
This was delicious – and so easy it was almost ridiculous. I mixed up the spice blend using this recipe from Epicurious https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Ras-El-Hanout-101070 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!
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!
when you say 2 cans of beef stock? how many ounces each can?
Lexi, the C stands for cups, not cans. Hopefully that clears things up! 🙂
Kelly Smith says
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! 🙂
Heather Patterson says
I’d like to do this in the crockpot .. Which you said could be done.. However when do you suggest I put in the butternut squash?.. I feel like if I put it in with the beef that it will turn into mush ?..?..
I made this tonight. The flavor was good, but did anyone else find it very bitter? It was really bitter from the lemon rind. If I try this again, I will just use lots of lemon juice. If it wasnt bitter, it would be amazing. Sad times. I was disappointed.
I also found it super bitter…disappointing. Trying to correct it. Won’t put the lemon until the end next time.
Hi Ariana! Just made this today. Thank you to Ellen for leading me to the recipe for the spice, I live in Italy and couldn’t find it. I put it in the crockpot, and used zucchini since I couldn’t find butternut either. I definitely plan on making this again, except cooking it for at least 4 hours in the crockpot, and using preserved lemons. Thanks for a great recipe!
My family and I love this recipe!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I took a chance on buying the Ras el Hanout seasoning from Frontier and love it so much! I modified the recipe a little (less lemon and added in sauteed mushrooms that were reduced in red wine and pureed them up so my family doesn’t know they are eating mushrooms). My husband says this is the best stew he has ever had! Thanks again!
Absolutely amazing!!! KUDOS Ariana! This is the first recipe of your I stumbled upon. Sounded great and tasted even better!! And it’s so easy!! Definitely going to check out more of your recipes. Sooooooo good!!
Don’t use all the lemons!!!! Please change this recipe, it is not specific as to what to do with the lemons and I ruined $30 worth of ingredients and steak on an icky sour, bitter stew that is not fixable. Only the second dish I have ever had to throw out in 12 years of cooking. 🙁