Tuesday, October 25

Pumpkin Stew

A few years ago I learned a really interesting fact: Originally pumpkin pie didn't actually refer to the type of but, the it refered to baking a pie in the pumpkin.

Oddly, I have always enjoyed baking and cooking inside pumpkins. Their ability to hold liquids even while cooking makes them ideal for stews and scooping out the meat as you eat gives a little extra heartiness to the dish.

Here is one of my favorite dishes, a Mexican Spiced Stew. Use any stew meat you want lamb, pork, beef, I have used them all.

Serves 4-6
Full time 2 1/2 hours (based on pumpkin size)
You will need:

4 lb. pie pumpkin
1 lb. stew meat chunks (photos of beef)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small orange pepper, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small can chopped green chilies
15 oz can creamed corn
15 oz can whole kernel corn
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Let us begin:

In a large sauté pan brown meat with half the spices and half olive oil

While this browns: preheat oven to 350, move rack to a medium low position. You need enough room to bake pumpkin with lid on

Begin to prepare pumpkin. Wash outside on warm water with small amount soap, then rewash in hotter water no soap.

Begin to cut open pumpkin around top, roughly 2"-3" from stem.

Hollow out pumpkin by removing seeds, scrapping sides a little to ensure no goo.

Pour in remaining olive oil and rotate pumpkin to coat all inside edges

Now mix all remaining ingredients (not meat) in a large bowl and stir to full blend

Once meat is browned, drain excess liquid and stir into vegetable bowl

Move pumpkin to a edged baking tray and stuff with mixture.

If you have excess, place in small dish along side pumpkin

Top pumpkin with lid, excess with foil

Bake for 2 hrs. Check pumpkin, carefully remove lid, steam will come out, stick a fork into the inside of pumpkin meat if it goes in easily your all set.

Remove pumpkin and serve. To eat just scoop out insides and carefully scoop out pumpkin meat as you go.