Halloween Stew (Beef Stew served in a Pumpkin)

Ingredients:

  • 1              Pumpkin (8-10 inches in diameter)
  • 1/2 C     Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1             Onion (large, chopped small)
  • 2             Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1             Bell Pepper (chopped small)
  • 1 LB       Stewing Beef (chopped – 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 jar  Lucini Organic Tuscan Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 C         Beef Stock (chicken or vegetable will also work)
  • 3             Sweet Potatoes (peeled, 1 inch cubes)
  • 2            White Potatoes (peeled, 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 LB  Dried Apricots (chopped large, about 1 Cup)
  • 1 C          Corn (fresh kernels are best, but frozen will work in this recipe)

Preparation:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  Cut a lid out of the top of the pumpkin and reserve.  Clean all  of the seeds and stringy fibers from the inside of the pumpkin (reserve seeds for roasting).

Brush the inside of the pumpkin with 2-3 TB of olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, paprka, salt, and pepper.  Place the lid on the pumpkin or cover opening with foil.  Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for an hour.

While the pumpkin is baking, prepare the stew.  Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Sauté the onions, green pepper, and garlic in 1/3 cup of the olive oil until golden and soft.  Raise the heat to medium-high and add the beef, browning on all sides.   Add the tomatoes, stock, potatoes and apricots, cover and lower heat to a simmer – cook for 45 minutes.

Taste for seasoning, and season with salt and pepper.  Add more stock if stew seems too thick, then stir in the corn.

Carefully pour stew into the pumpkin, replace top, and return to the oven for 30 minutes more.

Serve stew from the pumpkin bowl. When you transfer the pumpkin to a platter, do so very carefully and be sure to support the bottom of the pumpkin.

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