Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a pumpkin is a longstanding fall tradition from my own childhood. We loved it as kids, what's not to love about baking a pumpkin whole in the oven?! I made it throughout college as well, introducing Jeremy to the tradition, so we've continued to make it every year since.

Pumpkin has a nice mild flavor, like many of the other winter squashes. You'll probably get the most preferred taste by buying a "pie pumpkin" or "sugar pumpkin." These are smaller pumpkins that are bred for flavor (as opposed to size like jack-o-lanterns) and these days can be found in most supermarkets. Look for a big one so your whole family can be fed. I was able to find one with about a 6 inch diameter.

First put the dad and children in charge of cutting a wide lid off the pumpkin, and cleaning out the seeds.

Preheat oven to 350°. Put 2 T. oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat and add 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1 pound ground beef. Brown the beef.

Next I added 1 small green pepper, chopped (mine was red and green) and ¼ C Finely chopped onion. Add remaining ingredients: 1/2 (15oz) can tomato sauce, 2 eggs, beaten, 1/4 C chopped stuffed green olives, 1/3 C raisins.

Add the seasonings 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp white vinegar, 1/2 tsp ground pepper and 1 ½ tsp salt, then cook until green pepper is tender.

Scoop meat mixture into the middle of the pumpkin and place the lid back on. I also added the rest of the can of tomato sauce since there was room.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour, until squash is soft. You should be able to insert a "butter knife" in the squash easily. I place it on baking sheet to catch any dribbles.

The skin takes on a nice dark color. Serve whole on the table for an instant centerpiece.

To serve scoop some squash with the meat mixture. Look at that pretty delicious squash! I love this dish the sweetness of the raisins against the briny tangy-ness of the olives, the hearty addition of the ground beef aside the smooth clean taste of the pumpkin. Give it a try!

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 large pie pumpkin

2 T. oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb ground beef

1 small green pepper
¼ C finely chopped onion
1/2 (15oz) can tomato sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 C chopped stuffed green olives
1/3 C raisins

1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 ½ tsp salt

Cut a wide lid off the pumpkin, and clean out the seeds.

Preheat oven to 350°. Put 2 T. oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat and add 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1 pound ground beef. Brown the beef.

Add 1 small green pepper, chopped and ¼ C Finely chopped onion. Add remaining ingredients and the seasonings, then cook until green pepper is tender.

Scoop meat mixture into the middle of the pumpkin and place the lid back on.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour, until squash is soft. You should be able to insert a "butter knife" in the squash easily.

To serve scoop some squash with the meat mixture. Serves 6

5 comments:

Wayland said...

It was delicious last year when we shared it with you! Maybe Clint and I should make it this week or next.

Mindy said...

Looks delicious!

Brian's Wife said...

I went to the store this evening to get groceries for the week and the only "pie pumpkins" the store had were WAY too small. I was frustrated. I am going to have to look around town a little bit to see if I can find a store that carries some bigger than your fists. We are looking forward to making this, the kids are super excited....if only I could find a decent size pumpkin!! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Tyler M. said...

This is delicious! I remember you made this during your last fall here and I loved it.

Anonymous said...

I hope 'Brian's wife' will put this recipe in the 'family traditions' cookbook. :) I found pie pumpkins at the Basha's on Thornydale. They weren't huge, but one might be the right size for your family. Nonny

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