Carbonada al Zapallo or Pumpkin Beef Stew

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 @ 09:10 AM
Fall is a time for hearty soups and stews. In honor of a fall icon, the pumpkin, Carbonada al Zapallo or pumpkin beef stew.
1 large pumpkin
Remove the seeds and strings (save seeds to toast if you want.)
Set the pumpkin in a baking dish. Put 2 Tbsp. butter, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg in the pumpkin, cover with the lid, and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the stew…
3 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 lbs. of stew beef cut into 1-2″ cubes
1 white potato & 1 sweet potato cut into 1″ cubes
handful of baby carrots
2 medium tomatoes, chopped and seeded
3\4 cup fresh or frozen peas
3\4 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1\4 cup raisins
8 dried apricots,halved
3 cups beef broth
1\2 salt
1\4 tsp pepper
1\4 tsp thyme
1\4 tsp cinnamon
Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Saute onion. Add  garlic into butter-onion mixture. Remove onion & set aside. Brown beef  cut into 1″ pieces in same pan that onion was cooked in. When beef is browned, sprinkle onion on top. Cut one white potato & one sweet potato into approx. 1″ cubes and add to beef. Add carrots, tomatoes, peas, corn kernels,  raisins, and apricot halves. Cover with beef broth. Stir in salt,  pepper,  thyme, and  cinnamon. Bring to a boil, cover & reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour or until meat is fork-tender. About 45 minutes before serving, spoon stew into pumpkin, which should still be sitting on its baking dish. Any stew that doesn’t fit can be saved to reheat later. Put the lid on the pumpkin and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (lift lid; stew should be steaming-hot.). *Very Carefully* remove from oven — remember pumpkin is full and extra-heavy!
To serve, scoop or ladle out some pumpkin along with the stew!
(This is a variation of the Argentinian dish called Carbonada al Zapallo — which is served in a giant squash)
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