Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pumpkin Beef Stew

So... I took down all the Christmas decorations after "Little Christmas" (Epiphany, 6 Jan) and noticed my little pile of golden squash, kobucha squash, sweet pumpkins and my large, uncarved pumpkin from Thanksgiving time!!  So... what to do with all this bounty without it going bad??  Well, I came up with two delicious things for these items.  My favorite?  BOTH!!  :)

Kobucha squash... THAT gem was cooked last night by cutting into squares and lavishing a bunch of olive oil goodness all over it, then sprinkling with sea salt and cracked pepper.  Cooked at 450 deg F for 25 mins and VOILA!  Lusciousness to my taste buds.

Pumpkin Beef Stew:

1 lb beef stew meat - cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 large Japanese sweet potato
1 small sweet pumpkin
1 yellow onion, cut into small squares
3/4 cup brewed coffee
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots (I used julienned carrots from salad earlier in the week!)
salt, cracked pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

1. Put coffee into crock pot and turn on high.
2. In the meantime, saute onions then add beef pieces, sprinkle salt and cracked pepper while sautéing   Cook beef pieces just long enough to brown each side, then place all beef and onions into crockpot.
3. Brown garlic in saucepan then add to items in crockpot.
4. Slice pumpkin in half, seed and place in a glass casserole dish with 1/4 cup water.  Cook in 350 deg F oven for 20 minutes.  Remove and cut off skin and cube the pumpkin.  Pumpkin pieces should still be soft, but not mushy or firm.  Add to crockpot.
5. Skin and cube sweet potato, add to crockpot.
6. Skin and slice or julienne carrots and add to crockpot.
7.  Continue cooking all in crockpot for 4-5 hours, or until sweet potatoes are soft.

Serve while hot.  Left overs are delicious, too!!

Enjoy the recipe!!  You probably could substitute beef broth in place of the coffee, but I feel the coffee flavor really pulled out the darker hints of beef.  YUM!!

Thought for the day:  When willpower seems lacking, get with your supportive people.  Sometimes, BEING the supportive person for another fills that hole!!

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