Beef Stew or Stew in a Pumpkin
Submitted by Marilyn Russell

1 well-shaped 5-6 lb pumpkin
salt & pepper
2 lbs lean stew beef
1/4 cup of flour
2 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red onion, diced
1 cup apple juice
3 cups broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes (or 1 cup tomatoes, peeled)
2 med zucchini, sliced
2 carrots sliced
2 potatoes, cubed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can (12 oz) corn, drained

Remove lid of pumkin and retain for later use. Scoop out seeds and stringy portions. Score inside several times. Rub interior surface with salt and pepper. Place pumpkin upside down in large shallow pan; place lid in pan beside pumpkin. Add 1/4 inch water and bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until tender. Remove pumpkin from oven. Drain water and return upright pumpkin to baking pan. Rub inside surfaces with margarine.

Brown onion and garlic in oil. Remove and store on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Dredge meat in flour. Brown in the same oil that was used for onion and garlic.
Stir in apple juice, broth and seasonings. Simmer over low heat until meat is tender, about an hour. Add all vegetables and simmer another 45 minutes. May need to add more broth or water.

Spoon stew into warm pumpkin. The pumpkin pulp may also be eaten with the stew.
Makes a very festive fall centerpiece/serving dish:>)

ALTERNATE: just cook the stew in a large, heavy duty stew pot without the pumpkin.

Serve with french bread or rolls and a green salad.