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Argentine Beef Stew in a Pumpkin

What's the big idea?

A rich, warming stew, cooked and served inside a pumpkin! This makes quite an impression the first time you see it served.
The stew itself is not dissimilar to Carbonada Criolla (Argentine Beef Stew), so if you don't like pumpkin, please try that as an alternative recipe.
As the stew contains pumpkin, potatoes and sweet potatoes, all you need to serve in addition to the stew is a selection of green vegetables.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2lb lean beef cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (or a handful of fresh chopped basil)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¾ pint beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1lb potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1lb sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large pumpkin
  • 12 dried apricots, halved
  • A little butter or margarine
  • 1lb sweetcorn kernels

What To Do

  • Heat the oil in large, heavy casserole
  • Fry the onion and garlic until golden. Add the beef and fry until browned
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except for the pumpkin, sweetcorn and sherry
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
  • Meanwhile, cut the top off the pumpkin and discard. Scoop out the seeds and membrane and discard
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325F
  • Brush the inside of the pumpkin with butter
  • Add the sherry and sweetcorn to the stew, then carefully pour into the pumpkin
  • Bake for about an hour
  • When serving, scoop out some of the pumpkin flesh with the stew

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