SRC Feb 14 012 Edited Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash {Secret Recipe Club}

Beef is never my first choice when it comes to meat.  So when I received a can of  beef for Christmas, I almost traded it for a can of chicken. Don’t get me wrong. I grew up eating my fair share of steak and burgers, but I simply never purchased beef for myself once I left home. I never missed it, so I never ate it.

At this point, I imagine I should back up a bit and address your question, “You got beef for Christmas?”

Yes. I love practical gifts, and next to batteries and stamps, canned meat is about as practical as it gets. In all seriousness, practical gifts excite me. I can almost guarantee  I do not wear most of the clothes I received for recent holidays past, but you better believe I still use my stash of batteries and stamps.

This year, my grandma gave her kids and adult grandkids a giant can of beef and a giant can of chicken. The animals are raised and sold by a farmer in our home town, so I consider this farm-to-fork at its finest.

SRC Feb 14 014 Edited Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash {Secret Recipe Club}

On a cold winter day (and there have been plenty of those in the south this winter), I set out looking for something to make with my canned beef. Shelby at The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch had the answer.

Shelby’s blog was my Secret Recipe Club assignment this month. I like to think Shelby and I go way back, since I sent her salted vanilla chip oatmeal cookies for my first Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

Take a moment to think about that. Of the thousands of cookie swap participants, I was matched with Shelby, and then we met again in the same SRC group. It was meant to be.

And that’s a good thing, because I could cook from her blog for days. She has so many great recipes to choose from (Buffalo-Style Stuffed Eggs are definitely on my short list) that I was glad I was on the hunt for a recipe with a specific ingredient.

If not, I would probably still be deciding. Ultimately, I gave the Beef Lo Mein a long, hard look before settling on the Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash.

SRC Feb 14 017 Edited Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash {Secret Recipe Club}

What is tagine? I had no idea, but Google told me it is a cone-shaped dish commonly used for cooking in North Africa. Its shape allows meat to cook slowly, and as a result, become very tender. Other answers to the tagine question were “beef stew”, which is close to what we have here.

The combination of spices – paprika, cinnamon, ginger, and red pepper flakes – in this recipe interested me. Add to that the fact that everything I needed to make it was already in the fridge, and the choice was pretty clear.

That is yet another good thing, because this beef tagine was just what I was looking for when I set out to make winter comfort food. It was warm and flavorful and made for a perfect lunch and dinner. I don’t know that someone with a traditional beef dish in mind would love it, but I certainly did. I served my beef tagine over noodles (I still had lo mein on the mind), but I Imagine a side of rice or couscous or slice of crusty bread would be just fine too.

Thanks, Shelby, for making this another enjoyable SRC experience. Enjoy!

SRC Feb 14 016 Edited Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash {Secret Recipe Club}

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound shredded beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup vegetable broth or beef stock
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pound peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 3 cups of 1-inch cubes)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  1. Combine the paprika, cinnamon, salt, ginger, red pepper and black pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the beef to the spice mixture and stir well to coat.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the beef, onions, and the garlic and, stirring frequently, cook until the garlic is fragrant, about one to three minutes.
  5. Stir in the broth (or stock) and the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  6. Cook for five minutes, then add squash.
  7. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25-30 minutes or until squash is tender.
  8. If desired, garnish with cilantro. Serve with couscous, rice, noodles or enjoy alone.
I used fully cooked and shredded canned beef for this recipe. However, you can easily use 1-pound of beef roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes. When you add the spice-coated beef to the large skillet, simply cook until browned before stirring in the broth (or stock) and the tomatoes.

67E87027C4CC634217943A944D12A08F Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash {Secret Recipe Club}

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