This warming beef and pumpkin casserole takes just three hours, and is baked in a festive hollowed out pumpkin.
- 400g diced beef (chuck preferably)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 200 ml beef stock
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 20mm dice
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 sticks celery, cut into 15mm slices
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 220g chopped tomatoes - tinned
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds - toasted
- 1 medium pumpkin (approx 3/3.5kg)- top removed and seeds and fibres taken out.
- In a heavy-bottomed casserole dish, brown the meat in 1 tbsp of oil until caramelised. Remove the meat and drain. In the same dish add the potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Cook until slightly softened but not coloured.
- Add the beef stock, thyme and tomatoes. Cover and simmer slowly for two hours, until the meat is just tender. Don't forget it's going to cook for another hour so don't overcook it.
- Preheat the oven to 160 C.
- Place the cleaned pumpkin in a shallow baking tray. Spoon the casserole into the pumpkin and replace the top. Brush the outside of the pumpkin with the remaining oil.
- Place in the oven and bake at 165 C for approx one hour or just until the pumpkin is tender - it might take an hour and a half. Make sure you don’t overcook the pumpkin or the whole thing will collapse into itself.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for approx 10 mins. Sprinkle on the chopped parsley and place on to your serving dish.
- Serve the casserole from the pumpkin, scooping out a little of the cooked pumpkin flesh with each serving.