Got a potluck party to go to? Make a mean stew and serve it in a cooked pumpkin! Not only does it make for a great dish, but you also get to eat the “bowl” when
scooping out the stew. This is a fun and tasty recipe that even allows you to eat the dishes.
Yield: 6 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
1 small 5 lbs. (2.2 kg.) pumpkin, with the top cut out like a lid and seeds removed (tip: save the seeds to make this tasty snack!)
1 lbs. (500 g.) beef stewing meat, cut into 1″ cubes
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium rib celery, chopped
1/4 lbs. (100 g.) mushrooms, quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. flour
2 c. beef broth
1/4 lbs. potatoes, cut into 1” cubes (or just use the baby creamer potatoes)
salt and pepper to taste
1) Position one rack in the lower third area of the oven, and preheat to 350F/177C.
2) Place pumpkin (with the lid placed back on top) on a foil lined baking pan and reserve.
3) Pat the surface area of the stewing beef dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4) Heat the oil in an oven safe pot (such as a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat and brown the meat. Remove meat from pot and reserve.
5) Using the same pot, lower the heat to medium and cook the onions, carrots and celery until soft, about 2 minutes.
6) Add mushrooms and sauté another 2 minutes.
7) Add the garlic, tomato paste, rosemary, bay leaf and flour. Stir until incorporated.
8) Add the broth and stir until well mixed. Add the potatoes and beef, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
9) Cover the pot and place in the oven, along with the pumpkin so that they sit side by side on the same rack.*
10) After 40 minutes, remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool.
11) Continue to cook the stew for another 20 minutes (giving it a 60 minute cooking time). Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper to taste.
12) Ladle stew into the pumpkin and serve.
* Chef’s Note: One might want to cook the stew within the pumpkin, but here’s why it is not recommended:
- The pumpkin will cook faster than the stew, resulting in an overcooked pumpkin (which could collapse while full of hot stew!).
- The moisture from the pumpkin will seep into the dish while cooking. This will not only dilute the flavor of the stew, but it will also prevent the sauce from
reducing into a nice thick consistency.
In addition to presenting the stew in a pumpkin, create a place card to accompany it. However, be very cautious if transporting the hot stew in the pumpkin over a far
distance. To avoid potential burning and/or spills, it is recommended that you assemble the dish at the area it will be served from.