Over the past few years I have been seeing more and more people eating Dinner in a Pumpkin. Originally I decided it was craziness, totally gross, and something people just couldn't like. Or so I thought. Last fall I kept hearing more and more about dinner in a pumpkin. I started to get jealous that I had never tried a dinner in a pumpkin. I promised to give it a try in 2011!
I looked up some recipes and they mostly involved cheese soup and bread. They sounded good but some of the ingredients were a bit exotic for me. My good friend Leslie (who I wish blogged more often) gave me a recipe that sounded easy and tasty. I went to the pumpkin patch and picked out the biggest Pie Pumpkin that I could find and went home to whip up a batch. It turned out very yummy. My friend makes it with chicken but I wanted to try the beef. My big suggestion would be to remove the top oven rack before you heat the oven...I found out the hard way that my pumpkin was a bit tall and had to wrestle with a hot oven rack.
|You will need Mushrooms, Asparagus, Brown Sugar, Ground Beef, Pumpkin, Water Chestnuts, Oil, Onion, Cream of Chicken Soup, and Soy Sauce.|
|You will also need some cooked rice so plan ahead. I used Brown Rice.|
|Start by warming up the oil in a large skillet. Then add the chopped Asparagus.|
|Then add the sliced Mushrooms.|
|Chop up an Onion and add it to the pan. Let everything saute together for a few minutes.|
|Now add in the Ground Beef. Break it up while it browns.|
|Meanwhile grab your Pumpkin and give it a good washing.|
|Cut off the top. Make sure you make the hole large enough to get the stuffing in.|
|Remove the Seeds and Goo from the Pumpkin and the Pumpkin top.|
|When the Beef is browned and the veggies softened add in the Soy Sauce and the Brown Sugar and mix together thoroughly.|
|Add in the Soup and let it simmer about 10 minutes.|
|Line a Baking Sheet with Tin Foil|
|Pour about a TBSP of Oil in your hand and spread it all over the outside and the top of the Pumpkin.|
|Add in the Water Chestnuts and Cooked Rice.|
|Mix everything together really well and give it a taste. Adjust the seasoning at this point and add in a bit of Salt & Pepper if you want.|
|Add the Meat Mixture into the Pumpkin. I ended up having quite a bit of mixture left over.|
|Place the top back on the Pumpkin|
|And place it in the Oven. I hope you remembered to remove the top rack...otherwise woe and sadness will be in your heart. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.|
|When done the Pumpkin flesh will be tender enough that you can just poke a fork all the way through it.|
|Cut the Pumpkin into portions. We got 5 really good sized portions out of this one.|
Dinner in a Pumpkin Recipe
Source: My friend Leslie
1 Onion, chopped
1 Bunch Asparagus, cut into bits
8 oz Mushrooms, sliced
3 TBSP Canola Oil
2 LBS Ground Beef
3-4 TBSP Soy Sauce
4 TBSP Brown Sugar
2 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Cups cooked Brown Rice
8 oz Water Chestnuts
Pumpkin- I used a pie Pumpkin and just looked for the largest I could find. But from what I understand any pumpkin or large squash will work wonderfully.
In a Large skillet add 2 TBSP Canola Oil and allow it to warm over medium heat. Add in the Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Onions. Cook for a couple minutes. Add the Ground Beef and cook until browned.
Stir in the Soy Sauce, Brown Sugar, And Cream of Chicken Soup. Simmer for ten minutes. Add in the Cooked Rice and Water Chestnuts and mix everything together really well. Test for proper seasoning and add a bit of Salt & Pepper as needed.
Meanwhile cut the top off your pumpkin and clean out the seeds and goo. Clean both the pumpkin and the top as the top will be used in cooking. Cover a baking sheet with Tin Foil. Place the Pumpkin on the baking sheet and pour the last TBSP of oil into your hand and rub it all over the outside and top of the Pumpkin.
Add the Beef mixture into the Pumpkin and place the Pumpkin top in it's spot. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the Pumpkin is tender enough to poke a fork all the way through.
Cut into servings and Enjoy!
Approximately 4 servings (assuming you are able to fit all the meat mixture in the pumpkin)