I forgot that I was going to post the stew in a pumpkin recipe! So here it is. I modified it from a couple of different recipes that I found online, so if you don't like this one, just do a quick search. There are a lot to choose from.
You cut off the top of the pumpkin and empty out the
guts, just like you were going to carve a jack o' lantern. Then you
melt a couple tablespoons of butter and mix in about a half teaspoon
each of salt, pepper, and nutmeg (or some other pumpkin seasoning that
the recipe I found called for). Put it on a cookie sheet. Bake it in the oven at 300 for at least
After putting the pumpkin in the oven, wait for about 20 minutes. Then start cooking beef stew in a pan on
your stove top. We start with stew meat, and add in onions and garlic
when the meat is brown. When the onions are cooked, add in 3 carrots, 3
potatoes, and 3 stalks celery and add water to just barely cover
everything. Add in whatever spices you want (paprika, parsley, salt,
pepper, cayenne, more nutmeg). Then let it come to a boil. Once it
boils for a couple minutes, turn it way down, cover it and simmer it for
30 minutes (until the time is done on the pumpkin). During the
simmering, add some cornstarch or flour to a small amount of water and
mix it into the rest of the stew to thicken it.
Take the pumpkin out of the oven and ladle the stew into it. Plan on
leaving it on the cookie sheet the entire time, since the bottom of the
pumpkin will get soft and will give under the weight of the stew if you
try to lift it on its own. Then
put it back in the oven to cook for at least another 30 minutes.
When we made it this year we didn't have time to let it bake the last 30 minutes, and the
pumpkin wasn't that well cooked. So it was hard to scrape bits of
pumpkin into the stew when we were serving it. It still tasted good, though. When you serve it, you can transfer it from the cookie sheet to
a serving platter if you have one; but if you do, you should be sure to
support the bottom of the pumpkin somehow. And even then it will
probably leak at least a little bit.
can really do whatever you want with the stew. I've eaten this as
casserole in a pumpkin instead of stew (rice, cream of mushroom soup,
and veggies), and I'm sure you can do lots of other things.