Baked pumpkin and beef stew
Based loosely on a recipe by Maciek Jasion, chef at Raoul's deli Maida Vale, this beef and pumpkin casserole is a showstopper at Halloween and would light up any winter gathering. To prevent the stew soaking through the pumpkin, we suggest cooking it separately and ladling it into the baked pumpkin to serve.
- 2 pumpkins; 1 large pumpkin to serve, seeds and strings removed; 1 small pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
- 700g beef stewing steak, diced
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- Half a head of garlic, roughly chopped
- Olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Handful dried Porcini mushrooms
- Half a butternut squash, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 parsnip, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 500ml beef stock
- Half a bunch of fresh thyme
- Half a bunch of fresh parsley
- 1 red chilli, rough chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a little olive oil and butter in a large casserole over a medium heat and brown the beef in batches, adding more fat if necessary. When browned, remove from the heat and place
on one side.
2. Add some more olive oil and butter to the same casserole and gently fry the onions until golden, followed by the garlic, mushrooms and chilli. Deglaze the pan with a little stock, then add the beef, the rest of the stock and herbs. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, partially cover, and simmer for two hours.
3. After two hours, add the pumpkin, squash, carrots, parsnip and peppers, topping up with stock or water if necessary to ensure everything is just covered with liquid. Simmer for another hour until the vegetables are tender and the meat can be cut with a spoon.
4. In the meantime, prepare your pumpkin. Cut it about a fifth of the way down to make a sufficiently wide opening to ladle your stew into and out of. Remove all the strings and seeds using a metal spoon. Brush the outside of your pumpkin with olive oil and bake in the oven at 180C for about 40 minutes or until a lovely golden colour - make sure it doesn't go too soft though; you need it to stay robust enough to serve your stew in.
5. Remove your pumpkin from the oven and ladle in the stew ready to serve.