Sunday, November 2, 2008

PUMPKIN STEW - A Family Tradition

Cutting up the pumpkin after we had baked our stew in it.
Yum! Pumpkin Stew for Dinner
Great served with a salad!

With adopted kids and any family for that matter, I believe family traditions are very important. We have combined some from the different countries that our kids are from and wel, we have made up some of our own. I have been planning o n writing about one of our Fall traditions, which is making Pumpkin stew. I guess I'd better get it written before all the pumpkins disappear. Every year we make a trip to buy the perfect pumpkin and this year was no exception. Several of you have asked for the recipe and since I don't really measure, I wasn't sure what to tell you. But I did write it down as I made it so it could also make it to my cookbook that I am going to write one day. I actually had several pictures to show you the steps of preparation but something happened during downloading and I lost all of those! But I still have one of the final product and I guess that is what matters.

PUMPKIN STEW 1 nice round flat bottomed pumpkin that will fit into your oven (you may have to take the top rack out)

2lbs. stew meat or boiled shredded chicken

1 large onion

4 cups diced potatoes

1 cup diced sweet potatoes

1 cup chopped carrots

1 can sweet peas(not drained)

1 can green beans(not drained)

2 cans of diced tomatoes

1 150z can of pumpkin

1 can of corn(not drained)

1 can of tomato paste

2 tsp. beef bullion

4 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. chili powder

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. allspice

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of water

Heat oven to 400F. Prepare a 11x15 pan or cookie sheet with foil and set aside. Wash off outside of pumpkin and cut off top. Clean out seeds and strings as much as you can. Dry off outside of pumpkin with a paper towel and place in foil lined pan. Spray entire outside of pumpkin with vegetable spray, including top. Prepare stew by browning beef , onions and garlic in olive oil and cook til almost done in large dutch oven. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Cook stirring frequently until potatoes are almost done. Ladle stew into pumpkin and only fill 3/4 full. Juices from pumpkin will add to the volume. You may have some stew left. Continue cooking it until potatoes are done. Place lid on pumpkin. Very carefully place the pumpkin in the oven and pour about 2 cups of water into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Some of the stew may spill over into pan. Check for readiness to see if the pumpkin is tender. If Juices did not fill up your pumpkin, add to it from the leftovers in the dutch oven. Serve in the pumpkin. Delicious with cornbread or crackers. NOTE: After you have finished eating your stew, don't let the baked pumpkin go to waste. Cut it up and put it in the freezer for pies or other recipes.

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