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Sweet N’ Sour Beef & Squash Stew – Comfort Cuisine for Post Election Blues

Election Day 2016 is all done. The Donald is going to be our next President.

My new country (yes readers, I am finally becoming an American, after years of living here as an ex-pat) is taking a giant leap into the unknown

In my opinion, with change, be it to the cold season, or of one’s government, there is no better way to put a smile on your face and a warm glow in your tummy, than a hearty stew using seasonal ingredients. So I decided to make one this evening using  the humble ubiquitous squash, which is so ubiquitous with Fall here in the USA


Butternut Squash chopped on the board

However, I do like a twist on the mainstream and decided to cook my squash stew based on a recipe by Linda Dangoor, in her ‘Flavors of Babylon’, a fantastic book where she collates authentic home recipes handed down by her family from Iraq and from Iraqi Jewish cuisine

The subtle flavors in this slow cooked Sweet and Sour Stew and Squash dish are fabulous.

Tender aromatic meat, infused with ginger, garlic, citrus and tomato with bright orange chunks of nut sweet squash. A perfect calming antidote for the tumultuous events of this past week


Ingredients Assembled


  • 1.25lb Stewing Beef (cubed into 1″- 1.5″ cubes)
  • 1.25 ib Butternut Squash (peeled and cubed into 1″ cubes)
  • 2.5″ ginger root (peeled and finely diced)
  • 1 large clove of Garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 x 14 oz tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 x large tbsp of Golden Raisins (sultanas)
  • 10 Prunes (roughly diced
  • Juice of 3 small lemons
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp Salt to taste



Sealing the Beef

  • Warm the olive oil and saute the ginger, garlic and onion until soft over medium heat
  • Next, increase the heat, add the the meat, stir and sear until the beef is sealed
  • Then, add the chopped tomatoes plus juice and heat until all the liquid has evaporated, keeping the ingredients on the move to prevent them sticking
  • Add boiling water to cover the meat mixture, bring to the boil, cover the pot and cook on a low to medium heat for around 45 minutes, or until the meat has softened. Take care to add additional water, if required, to avoid it drying out
  • Now add the prunes, raisins / sultanas, zest, sugar and salt stir and bring to the boil adding the squash.
  • Lower the heat to low medium and cook for another 15-20 minutes or so
  • Finally, add the lemon juice checking the flavor then cook for another 15 minutes or so

Penultimate Stage of the Stew – Next add the Squash and Lemon Juice

Serve with Basmati Rice, tuck in and enjoy your comfort food straight out of Babylon from the distant shores of the River Tigris and don’t forget, whatever your political creed, the Sun still comes up in the morning and the food will be just as delicious this Fall, as last and the Fall to come!



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