Place 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
in a large bowl. Add stewing beef and toss to coat the meat.
Meanwhile, coat the bottom of a large heavy pot with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon)
and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add beef to the pot and allow
it to brown on all sides, adding more oil as needed. When all the beef is browned,
reserve it and its juices in a bowl.
Add diced onion, celery, carrot, green pepper and garlic to the pot; cook, stirring,
on high heat for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pot to free flavorful bits.
Reduce heat to low and continue to cook vegetables for 1 minute. Increase heat to
high and add red wine, allowing it to reduce to a glaze in the bottom of the pot.
Return beef to pot along with the bay leaf and your choice of herbs (thyme, marjoram
or rosemary). Add the beef broth and bring to a brief boil. Immediately reduce heat
to low and maintain a low simmer until beef is tender, about 1 hour.
While stew is slowly cooking, prepare squash by cutting a shallow slice off the
top of each to make a lid; remove the seeds and strings. Lightly rub the inside
of each squash with salt, pepper and olive oil. Replace lids and place on a lined
baking tray. Bake at 350 degrees F until tender when pricked with a knife, about
30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.
Before serving stew, add baby new potatoes, pearl onions and sugar snap peas;
gently reheat, if necessary. Adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste,