Prep time 40 mincook time 240 minserves 6-8Showing Off
Serve up some novelty this Halloween by cooking a traditional beef stew in a pumpkin. This delicious stew does take some extra time but it’s surprisingly straightforward once you get started because your oven will do the heavy lifting for you. It is a nutritious way to serve dinner and looks very impressive at the dinner table. Choose a pumpkin about the size of a football so it will fit in your oven. The stew part of this recipe can be done on your stovetop or in the oven.
675g (1 ½ lbs) lean beef stew meat, chopped into bite-size pieces
40g plain flour
1 teaspoon olive oil
5 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 no-salt beef stock cube dissolved in 1 pint of water
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon rosemary (fresh or dried)
1 teaspoon oregano (fresh or dried)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 football-sized pumpkin
1 tablespoon olive oil
If using your oven preheat your oven to 160°C.
Place your diced beef in a bowl with the flour and coat well.
In a frying pan, add a teaspoon of olive oil and brown your beef. You may need to do this in batches. Remove from the frying pan and place the beef in a large saucepan with a lid or a heavy bottomed oven-safe casserole dish.
Lightly fry the garlic, onions, carrots and celery in the leftover oils and juices of the frying pan until starting to soften.
Add the vegetables to the beef in the saucepan or casserole dish and turn on to a medium heat. Add the tomato puree and mix well. Cook for two minutes. Add the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, oregano and pepper.
If cooking on the stove top, place the lid on the saucepan and simmer on a low heat for 1 ½ to 2 hours until the beef is tender. If cooking in the oven, place the lid on the casserole dish and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours at 160°C until the beef is tender.
Meanwhile, prepare your pumpkin. Start by washing the outside of the pumpkin to remove any visible dirt. Place the pumpkin on a flat and sturdy surface. Using a serrated paring knife, carefully slice through the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree inward angle. This is so you’ll be able to replace the lid without it falling in later. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits using a spoon or ice cream scoop. You can save the seeds for roasting later. Place the pumpkin in a baking tin and brush the outside lightly with olive oil.
Once the beef is tender, carefully ladle the stew inside, don’t overfill. You can freeze leftover stew (if any) for another time. Replace the lid and bake for approximately 1.5 hours at 160°C or until the pumpkin is just soft (but not over-baked) or the pumpkin could collapse. Serve the stew straight from the pumpkin using a large metal spoon so you can scoop some pumpkin from the sides for each serving.