March 28, 2010

Pumpkin Casserole

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
Serves: 6

1 (5-6 pound) pumpkin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, minced
1 green pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup margarine
1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup beef broth or bouillon
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove lid of pumpkin and retain. Scoop out seeds and stringy portion. Score inside several times and rub interior with salt and pepper. Place pumpkin upside down in a large shallow pan with 1/4-inch water. Place lid of pumpkin in pan beside pumpkin.

Bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain.
In a large skillet, saute onion, green pepper, and garlic in margarine.
Add ground beef and seasonings and simmer until meat is lightly browned.
Cook with tomatoes, broth, and wine until liquid is reduced considerably.
Stir in cooked rice and mix thoroughly.
Stuff pumpkin with this mixture.
Top with grated cheese and return to the oven until cheese is melted.

Replace pumpkin lid until serving time. Serve from the pumpkin. The pumpkin pulp may be scooped out and served also.

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