Serves 8To use sugar pumpkins for this recipe, use two (4 pounds each), and during the initial cooking, check the pumpkin for doneness after 30 minutes.
|1||small cheese pumpkin (about 6 to 8 pounds)|
|Butter (for the pumpkin)|
1. Set oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a baking dish large enough to hold the pumpkin comfortably.
2. Make a horizontal cut around the stem end of the pumpkin. With a large spoon, scrape out seeds and stringy filaments from the cavity and the lid. Dry the inside of the pumpkin with paper towels. Rub it with butter and set it in the baking dish.
3. With a fork gently pierce the inside of the pumpkin in several places. Set the lid on top. Cover loosely with foil. Add about 2 inches of hot water to the sides of the pan. Bake the pumpkin for 45 minutes or until the inside begins to soften (the tip of a knife can just pierce the flesh).
|2 1/2||pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch pieces|
|1/4||cup olive oil|
|2||large onions, cut into 8 wedges each|
|3||garlic cloves, chopped|
|1||teaspoon ground cumin|
|1/2||cup red wine|
|6||carrots, cut into 1-inch slices|
|5||medium potatoes, cut into chunks|
|1||can (28-ounces) peeled Italian tomatoes, with their juices|
|1 1/2||cups water|
|1 1/2||pounds mushrooms, quartered|
2. In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil. Cook the onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the beef and cook for 8 minutes, turning often.
3. Add the cumin and cook 1 minute. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken.
4. Add the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil. Add the raisins and cinnamon. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 15 minutes. If the pan seems dry, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.
5. Ladle the stew into the pumpkin, then partially cover with the pumpkin lid and foil. Bake the stew for 45 minutes. Remove lid and foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes more.
6. Remove the foil and lift it off the baking dish as well. Spoon the stew onto plates. Slice wedges of pumpkin and serve with the stew.