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Beef Stew in a Pumpkin or Gourd
Beef Stew in a Pumpkin or Gourd
Serving Size: makes 4-6 large servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 lbs. stewing beef
1/2 lb. yellow onion, diced
4 ounces celery, diced
4 ounces carrots, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
sprig thyme, marjoram or rosemary
4 cups beef stock or water
4-6 gourds or pumpkins
6 ounces baby new potatoes
4 ounces pearl onions
4 ounces sugar snap peas
2 ounces green peppers

1. Place olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a large stainless steel bowl. Add stewing beef and toss to coat meat.

2. Place enough olive oil to fill the bottom of a heavy pot and place over medium to high heat. Once oil is hot, add beef and brown on all sides, adding more oil as needed. Once browned, transfer meat and juices to a bowl.

3. Add diced onion, celery, carrots and garlic to pot. Stir on high heat for 1 minute, scraping bottom of pot to remove all flavorful bits. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking vegetables for 1 minute. Increase heat to high and add red wine, allowing it to reduce to a glaze. Return beef and juices to pot. Add bay leaf and your choice of herbs. Cover with beef stock or water and bring to a brief boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and maintain a low simmer until beef is tender.

4. While stew is slowly cooking, prepare gourds (or pumpkins) by making a lid for each and removing seeds and strings. Rub inside of each with salt, pepper and olive oil. Replace lids and place on a lined baking tray. Bake at 350° until tender when pricked with a knife. Remove from oven and set aside.

5. Add new potatoes, pearl onions, sugar snap peas and diced green peppers to stew. Cook 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are done.

6. Salt and pepper stew to taste. Carefully place stew into each gourd and serve.