Beef Lentil Stew in a Pumpkin

There’s nothing better than a warm lentil stew on a cool fall night before wrapping yourself up in a blanket and watching a funny movie. Those days where the sun never pops its head out and the rain falls periodically all day, never allowing anything to dry out. It’s the kind of day that rubber boots and cardigans are made for. Well on that day, try this stew, you won’t be disappointed. The stores are filled with the prettiest little squash and pumpkins right now, and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to put some warm comfort food in one. Here is a little bowl of happy for a dreary day.  Let me know what kind of pumpkin you used and what videos you’d like to see in the future!

At the market today I decided to fill my bag with the cutest little pumpkins I could get my hands on. I got a little carried away and came home with way more than I needed and also maybe smaller than I really needed since the idea was to have a big beef bone coming out of the center of one of these pumpkins. I recovered by serving the rib on the side and it was still amazing. Another option would be to remove all the bones and meat, chop the meat into bite size pieces and return the beef to the stew. Then the bone is no longer a problem since the problem is now your dogs chew toy. (My dog decided to chew right through that bone and didn’t feel very well in the middle of the night if you know what I mean…so in hindsight you may not want to do that either…)

Beef Lentil Stew in a Pumpkin

  • 4 Beef back rib bones
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cups of diced celery
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 4 cups of cooked pumpkin or squash flesh (from 4 mini pumpkins)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups beef broth

In a very large pot, bring 5 cups of water and 4 cups of beef broth to a boil. In the meantime, place the beef in a large skillet on medium high. Cover the meat with Worcestershire sauce and brown the beef ribs. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add onions, garlic and celery to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes.

Add wine and cook until onions become slightly transparent, about 5 more minutes. Put the beef, onions mixture, bay leaves, marjoram, thyme, and tomato puree into the simmering broth and water mixture. Cover and allow the stew to simmer for 2 hours. In the meantime roast 4 mini pumpkins. Large enough to fit the bone and stew inside once hollowed out if possible (if not the bone can always be served on the side with the spicy pumpkin ale bread).

Set the oven to preheat at 400 F. Place the 4 small squash on a baking sheet and bake until cooked through (knife should cut through easily when cooked) approximately 40 minutes depending on size. Large pumpkins can take up to 2 hours. Allow the pumpkins to cool. Cut off the tops about 1 inch down. Remove the seeds. Scrape out the flesh of the pumpkins with a spoon, reserving the flesh for the stew. Be carefully not to pierce through the flesh of the pumpkin with your spoon and creating unwanted holes.

Leave a little flesh on the skin of the pumpkin, about ¼ to ½ an inch. This will give the pumpking enough strength to keep a nice shape.

Add green lentils, carrots and pumpkin to the stew and simmer for 1 more hour.  To serve, place stew and 1 beef rib inside the mini pumpkin. Serve with whole wheat crusty bread or spicy pumpkin ale bread.


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One Response to Beef Lentil Stew in a Pumpkin

  1. Linda October 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Serving the stew in pumpkins is a fun idea! Thanks for participating in Gluten-Free Wednesdays!

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