Monday, October 11, 2010

A Year of Deer, Episode 20: Slow Cooker Harvest Stew

It's harvest time, and that means lots of yummy ingredients are in season. Ideally, we would have enjoyed the warmth and heartiness of this stew after coming in from a chilly autumn stroll, our cheeks flushed from the brisk wind. Instead, we ate this stew while sweating in our 84 degree apartment at the end of another unseasonably warm day here in Chicagoland, our faces red from the heat. Oh well. It didn't feel like fall yesterday, but I did get to wear one of my cute summer skirts to church, so I really shouldn't complain.

For this meal I branched off a recipe from my slow-cooker cookbook and then made the rest of it up. Two peeled & chopped sweet potatoes, two peeled & chopped red potatoes, one peeled & chopped acorn squash, one can of red kidney beans, about two pounds of cubed venison steak, 4 cups of beef broth, 4 cloves of minced garlic, some black pepper, thyme and rosemary went into my slow cooker. This came out:
Pictured with a popover, which is my new favorite thing to bake. They're easy, magical, and oh-so-good! I will have to blog about them some other time.


Wren said...


Here's the question: how do you peel acorn squash? If it's the one I'm thinking of - the one with all the ridges - this is a very difficult thing to accomplish. How did you do it?

suz said...

Indeed, acorn squash are the smaller roundish ones with ridges and the occasional patch of orange. Peeling it wasn't exactly "easy" but it wasn't as bad as one might think. First, I applied the tip I learned from my encounter with butternut squash, so I microwaved it for 3 minutes. Turns out that's too long for an acorn squash (it got really hot & mushy)...1 minute probably would have been enough to soften the skin enough to make it easy to cut the squash in half. After scooping out the seeds & strings, I peeled the skin off the "peaks" and any other part I could reach with my peeler. Then I cut the squash into chunks and attacked the little slivers of peel I couldn't get when it was whole. A little time and labor intensive, perhaps, but worth it, I think. I read somewhere that you can eat the skin of acorn squash, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that. :)