Pumpkin Entrees

25 October 2022

Most people think of using pumpkin in desserts like pie or bread. However, it can also make a great addition to a savory dish. You can use fresh pumpkin or canned, just be sure the weight is the same. If using canned, go for the pumpkin puree rather than the pie filling.

Pork (or beef), Pumpkin, and Cornbread Casserole

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork or beef
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée

Egg layer:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small poblano peppers, or 1 jalapeño pepper (stems, ribs, and seeds discarded), minced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped, divided
  • Leaves of 2 sprigs fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 large eggs

Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 corn muffins or cornbread, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 2/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds shelled, salted

Directions:

  • Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F.

Filling:

  • Heat the oil in a 10- to 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add ground meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until the meat is cooked through and browned. Transfer the meat to a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Add the onions to the same pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and browned on the edges.
  • Add garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the pumpkin and mix well. Transfer the pumpkin and onion mixture to the bowl with the meat and stir to combine.

Egg layer:

  • Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the oil and, with the wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pepper, cilantro, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix to combine.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and pour them into the pan. Do not stir and allow to cook until the bottom sets, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  • Scoop the meat mixture on top of the egg. Gently smooth it out into an even layer. Remove the pan from the heat.

Topping:

  • Combine the butter, chili powder, and salt in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat in 10-second blasts until the butter is melted; stir to combine and set aside.
  • Scatter the cornbread or corn muffin pieces evenly over the meat, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with the melted chili butter.
  • Bake until the casserole is hot, the eggs are set, and the corn muffin topping is crisp and browned, 15 to 17 minutes.

Beef Pumpkin Stew Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds beef (stew meat or chuck roast)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3-4 thyme sprigs

Directions:

  • Cut the beef into 1-inch chunks. Dredge the beef in the flour until all of the beef sides are covered.
  • In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium high-heat. In small quantities, brown the beef on all sides, removing the browned beef and setting it aside in a large bowl as you go. When the beef is browned, add the onion and the garlic to the pot. Sauté the onion and garlic for one minute, scraping the bottom of the pot as you stir.
  • Return the browned beef to the pot and add the beef stock, pumpkin puree, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the potatoes, carrots and thyme to the pot and increase heat to medium. Cook for an additional 30 minutes. Salt to taste and serve.

Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  • Place chicken stock, pumpkin puree, onion, garlic, salt, thyme, and peppercorns in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes
  • Transfer soup to a blender or food processor in batches; blend until smooth.
  • Return soup to the pan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in heavy cream. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley

If you want to eliminate the dairy, substitute a drizzle of olive oil instead of the heavy cream. It creates the same velvety texture and will enhance the natural flavors. The soup will thicken as it cools.

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