Yield: 8 servings
|1 each||10 to 12 pound pumpkin|
|2 tablespoons||To 3 tbsp olive oil|
|4 pounds||Beef chuck or rump; cut into 1-inch cubes|
|2 mediums||Onions; coarsely chopped|
|1 large||Green bell pepper; seeds and stem removed; chopped|
|2 cloves||Garlic; minced|
|4 cups||Fresh or canned beef stock|
|2 larges||Tomatoes; peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped|
|½ teaspoon||Freshly ground pepper|
|2 tablespoons||Chopped cilantro|
|1 each||Bay leaf|
|3 eaches||Aji chiles; stems removed, crushed, or substitute piquins|
|1½ pounds||Sweet potatoes; peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes|
|3 eaches||Ears corn; cleaned, and cut into 1-1/2 inch rounds|
|3 eaches||Fresh peaches; peeled, pitted, and halved, or substitute frozen, thawed and drained|
Clean the outside of the pumpkin under running water. Cut off the top of the pumpkin to make a lid, making the opening 6 to 8 inches in diameter, and clean out the inside. Replace the lid and bake the pumpkin in a roasting pan at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish and add the cubed meat, a little at a time, and brown the meat on all sides. As the meat browns, remove it to an 8-quart heavy Dutch oven. To the remaining oil in the casserole, add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and saute the mixture until the onion softens. Add the sauteed mixture to the browned meat. Add the beef broth and bring this mixture to a boil.
Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, cilantro, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, and the crushed chile. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1-½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the cubed sweet potatoes and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
Finally, add the corn and the peaches, and cook, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
Carefully ladle the beef mixture into the pumpkin shell, replace the lid, and bake the filled pumpkin on a large, shallow roasting pan at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes, checking to make sure the shell is not getting too soft.
If you are a brave soul, you can remove the filled pumkin to a large platter. Or, if you are normal, you can leave the filled pumpkin in the pan and decorate the pan with Indian corn and sprigs of dried, colored leaves. As you serve the stew, scrape off parts of the inside of the pumpkin, too.
Authors' heat scale: Medium
_Hot and Spicy Latin Dishes_ from Chili Pepper Magazine Dave DeWitt, Mary Jane Wilson, Melissa T. Stock Prima Publishing, 1995 ISBN 1-55958-484-X Typos by Jeff Pruett Submitted By JEFF PRUETT On 08-17-95