Argentinian Beef Stew in a Pumpkin
SERVES 4 - 6
This classic stew blends Old World and New with a fusion of hearty meats and vegetables accented with peaches.
1 10-lb. cheese or cinderella pumpkin
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. beef chuck, cut into 1'' cubes
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 cups beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and cubed,
or 4 canned peach halves, drained and cubed
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cut a lid about 6'' in diameter out of top of pumpkin; set lid aside. Remove and discard seeds and strings. Replace lid and bake pumpkin on a heavy cookie sheet until just tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef on all sides, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium; add onions, peppers, and garlic and cook, scraping brown bits stuck to bottom of pot, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add beef and any accumulated juices, tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, and stock, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Add both potatoes, cover, and cook for 20 minutes; then add corn and peaches and cook, covered, for 10 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Spoon carbonada into pumpkin, replace lid, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and, using two spatulas or a flat cookie sheet, carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter. At the table, spoon carbonada with some of the pumpkin's flesh into warm serving bowls.