Saturday, October 22, 2011

Velvety Pumpkin Stew

Living with our new housemates, we both (Billy and I) benefit from being with friends who are so like-minded. Billy and Justin are record collectors, and appreciators of the arts (among other things), and Lindsey and I have our love of cooking and baking. This recipe comes from Justin's mom, who passed it on to Lindsey, and Lindsey was kind enough to show me the process and share dinner with us! It is a hearty beef stew cooked inside of a large pumpkin. It is perfectly seasonal, warms the soul, and the stew itself so velvety delicious.

This approach is creative to boot, who can resist such a cute idea?

Velvety Pumpkin Stew
Serves: 6 Prep Time: 30 min Total Time: 3 hrs
Cook's Note: This meal is a gluten-free option.
Adapted from Janice Schatzinger (originally transcribed Oct 2011), variations by Rachel Rose on Nov 2014.
Gluten-Free Option

2 tbsp butter
2 lbs Stew Meat
2 cans of 14 oz Stewed Tomatoes with Italian Seasonings, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 carrots, sliced and/or chopped
1 large onion, finely diced
4-5 Russet Potatoes, diced (I also like to sub in a sweet potato or yam)
1 Bellpepper, diced (sometimes I omit)
3 cups Beef Broth
1 large (10-12 lbs) Pumpkin, able to fit in your oven
2 tbsp olive oil for glazing pumpkin
1 tsp salt, or to your taste
1/2 tsp pepper

How To:
1) Over medium heat in a stock pot or dutch oven, add butter. Once butter melts, add stew meat. Brown meat for about 5-10 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, carrots, onion, potatoes, bellpepper, and beef broth. Stir to incorporate everything. Cover with a lid and drop heat to medium-low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until everything is tender. Add salt and pepper.

2) Prep Pumpkin. Slice at an angle, creating a large enough hole to pour stew into. Remove seeds and pulp. Set Seeds aside for roasting.

3) Heat oven to 325º F. While stew is simmering, set prepped pumpkin on a cooking sheet. Brush olive oil on to pumpkin.

4) Pour stew into prepped pumpkin, place the pumpkin lid back in. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes.

5) Carefully remove from oven and taste for seasoning before serving.

Serving Options:
Serve with homemade bread and butter. The Pumpkin serves as a great center piece to impress your guests!

Pumpkin Seeds:
1) Boil for 10 minutes. Strain, keep in colander, and add 2 tbsp butter to coat.

2) Spread out on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with salt.

3) Roast at 325º F on the middle rack for 40 minutes or until crunchy. Stir every ten minutes, add more salt if needed.

4) Remove from oven, let cool before serving.

Thanks Lindsey!

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