Curried Beef and Butternut Squash Stew and Asteroids. No, Not Together.

What’s going on in the webosphere? Well, people are being assholes. That’s no surprise. And people are being almost endearingly naive, which is just kind of weird and pathetic. And people are cooking delicious food…which should make the first two things seem less obnoxious, if this post works the way I hope it will.

You have to wonder about  a man who would dedicate this much time and effort to being a petty asshole. Apparently, some people get really really really upset if you happen to notice that there is a lack of diversity on a conference panel. I assume these people are similarly nonplussed by the idea of panel containing no white men.

I have discussed Jonathan Haidt here before. Well, not discussed, really-lambasted. I don’t think he’s a horrible person, just a little misguided, a little blinded by his own privilege and, well, just plain wrong about a lot of stuff. That being said, this website doesn’t make me angry; it makes me sad. I think the idea of conservatives (which, if we’re honest, usually translates to “wingnut” nowadays) and liberals getting together to discuss the issues of the day is certainly interesting. But we’re really at the point that we don’t even agree on what the issues are. Put it this way– Haidt says some of the issues of the day are:

Liberal Asteroids
Conservative Asteroids

I mean, I’ll be honest, the “conservative” asteroids don’t impress me much; they’re certainly not “asteroids” for me. And as to the liberals asteroids, I think it’s safe to say that most conservatives a.) don’t believe in climate change and b.) don’t give a shit about inequality. So where does that leave us? Well, I’d say it leaves us with Asteroid Clubs that are really, really tiny.

Are you ready for stew yet? Here’s one from my own beautiful mind: Curried Beef and Butternut Squash Stew


  • 1- 1 1/2 lb. stew beef
  • 2 mediums onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 large butternut squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons mango chutney (Adjust according to your tastes; if you like a tad more more sweetness, add more. If you prefer less sweetness in a savory dish, add less.)
  • 1-3 tablespoons Indian curry powder (Adjust according to your tastes; if your blend is particularly pungent or spicy, add less. If it very mild–like mine–add more.)
  • 1/2  14 oz. can fire- roasted (or plain) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, rough-chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • flour
  • olive or veggie oil


  1. Heat 1-2 tbsp. oil in dutch oven or stock pot. While the oil gets to a med-high temperature, toss beef cubes with a generous amount of flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Brown coated beef in hot oil. (The amount of flour will make for some pretty dark fond; don’t be scared, just get your other ingredients ready to add to the pot.)
  3. When the beef gets a nice and brown on a side or two, remove it from the pot and set aside.
  4. Add some more oil along with the onion, curry powder and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper to the pot and stir, trying get up as much of the beef and flour fond off the bottom of the pot. Add a few tbsps of water, if necessary. Saute onions until they begin to soften and become translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant–about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the beef back to the pot.If you would like to add the potatoes and squash to the stew now–as I did–you can. They will get quite tender and even melt into the stew a bit. I think this improves the texture of the stew, making it rich and creamy. But if you prefer your veggies to have more tooth, add them when there is about a half hour left of cooking time.
  6. Add the broth, tomatoes and chutney. Cover and cook stew over LOW heat for 1 1/2 -2 hours, until the beef gets tender. I like to leave the lid off the stew or leave it askew to let some of the water evaporate and concentrate flavors.
  7. When stew is done cooking, stir in cilantro.

Now, don’t you feel better?


22 thoughts on “Curried Beef and Butternut Squash Stew and Asteroids. No, Not Together.

  1. Just posted Artois’ latest blog at Substance’s place (IF that is his real name!!!), but it applies here, too:

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Fake Problems

    Just the occasional reminder that we spend most our time creating and occasionally solving fake problems instead of dealing with real ones. People need jobs. People need decent health care. There’s been an increase in catastrophic weather events. We’re a country of immense wealth. These things shouldn’t be hard.

    by Atrios at 11:37

  2. I mean, I’ll be honest, the “conservative” asteroids don’t impress me much; they’re certainly not “asteroids” for me.

    At this point anything revolving around “spending” just seems like question-begging. Money does not work right.

  3. The sad thing is that if you consider ANY genuine issue confronting America today, from gun violence to carbon pollution to the social safety net to infrastructure development to the utter failure of governance itself, you always have to end with “but we’re not going to be able to solve that any time soon”. It’s a snake eating its tail – with effective governance these would not be hard problems to solve, but we have an obsolete and failed system of governance that has become systematically unable to solve, or even acknowledge, those genuine problems.

    The butternut squash stew is wonderful over cous cous, but I have such a weakness for a thai influenced butternut squash soup I make with curry and lemon grass and coconut milk that I never quite get around to the stew. It finally got COLD here this week so I made a Lamb stew with roasted vegetables (carrots, parsnips, white beets) that is SO rich it should be paying my rent…

    • Yeah, I’m afraid as long as we have the House of Representatives still filled to the brim with loons, the chances for getting anything of substance done is pretty much nil.

      Any chance you’d share your Thai take on butternut squash soup? I am SO INTRIGUED.

  4. Conservative Asteroids
    Entitlement spending
    Dissolution of the family

    So he’s pretending that Conservatives as a whole — not just the rarked-up Social Conservatives — give a feck about “dissolution of the family”? (though I suppose some of the Neocons care about it in the Don Corleone sense of “don’t put Cheney in jail”)

    He’s pretending that any conservatives gave a feck about “Entitlement spending” until about two election cycles ago?

    I am beginning to wonder whether Haidt cares much about this “intellectual rigour” thing.

  5. The thing about the “Conservative Asteroids” is that they are actually caused by Conservative policies- a rise in entitlement costs is due to corporate mal- and mis-feasance, and the dissolution of the family is due to lowered wages and increased workloads for Joe and Jane Schmo.

    • “Entitlement costs”, if I understand the term correctly, means “one side of any contract on which the Republicans would now like to renege”. It is a way of branding as greedy bludgers the people who are claiming the unemployment insurance or pensions for which they have paid.

      I will take the term “entitlement costs” seriously when people start applying it to farm subsidies or defense-industry corporate welfare. Or for that matter, to the rent, when the landlords demand their entitlement according to the tenancy agreement.

  6. Also, the very idea of a “beef curry” is very off-putting to a lot of traditional curry eaters, no doubt a vestige of “Hindu origins”- Bible-toting Jamaican and Trinidadian friends of mine would never make a beef curry, even though they have no problems with eating oxtail stew or cow-foot jelly. Funny thing, that.

  7. Back in the days when I used to spend a lot of time at Bloggingheads, Jonathan Haidt convinced me that he was on a fast track to becoming the new Science darling of the Beltway/totebagger crowd — you know, those people who think all of our problems would be solved if only we had a third party “in between” the Democrats and Republicans. With every successive appearance on Bhtv, Haidt seemed ever more inclined to present Research Results that had started with the assumption that conservative viewpoints=generally misunderstood, liberal viewpoints=generally wrong, ALTHOUGH HE DOES NOT JUDGE.

    So I am glad to see that someone else recognizes the brownness with which his eyes are tinged.

    And thanks also for the recipe. I look forward to trying it out.

  8. Finally got around to making this, and it turned out great! Thanks so much for sharing.

    I did not get much of a fond, perhaps because I used lean stew beef, perhaps because I didn’t use enough flour. Therefore, in order to thicken the liquid, I took out the potatoes and squash that I had added in the beginning (per step 5, I added half of each and reserved the other halves for adding later), mashed them up, and stirred that slurry back into the stew.

    I think I added too much curry, so I added more mango chutney near the end to offset it somewhat.

    Minor nit: you do not ever explicitly say to add the beef back to the pot. Not that most people wouldn’t figure that this should happen in step 6, but just in case you wanted to be sure, for the n00b cooks, such as your humble commenter.

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