Stew in a Pumpkin
2½ Tbs oil, divided use
2 lbs rump or chuck roast, trimmed well, cubed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
21 oz beef broth
1 dozen pitted dried plums (prunes)
6 oz dried apricots, snipped in half
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
2 new potatoes, cubed
10 oz frozen corn kernels
1 large pumpkin, interior seeds and strings removed
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Sauté meat until brown. Do this in batches if necessary.
Separately, in remaining oil heated in a large heavy pot, sauté onion, garlic and red pepper until tender. Add all other ingredients except corn and cook one hour. Add corn.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
If necessary to make it sit flat, trim the bottom of the pumpkin slightly. You will also want to make the opening at the top large enough to transfer the mixture into the pumpkin, and to serve it out with a ladle and/or scoop.
Place the pumpkin on a heavy baking sheet,and transfer the stew mixture to the interior. Cover with pumpkin top or foil and bake for 1½ hours, until the interior flesh of the pumpkin seems tender when tested with a fork.
Carefully remove pumpkin from the oven (this may require two people) as the shell will have softened. Serve the stew in the pumpkin, scooping out some of the pumpkin inside with each serving.
Do not store leftovers in the pumpkin.