SAVOURY STUFFING of PUMPKINS
A simple, quickly prepared savoury pumpkin which looks absolutely stunning on the plate! First, choose your pumpkin. One of the small, ornamental pumpkins will give the best results. The shape is very stable on the plate. The pumpkin used in the photos was Sweet Lightning F1.
Ingredients for a savoury stuffed pumpkin.
One small pumpkin some 10 to 15 cm diameter, for each person. While the photos show one pumpkin per person, by halving the pumpkin along the circumference and omitting the lid, the pumpkin would serve two people.
700 g lean mince, 2 carrots, 2 onions, 1 sweet pepper, several cloves of garlic or elephant garlic, several mushrooms, fresh herbs( 4 bay leaves, thyme, rosemary), can of larger or beer.
Optional ingredients could include 6 soft dried apricots and 6 juniper berries, Worcester sauce. If available, chestnuts make a good addition.
Preparation of the mince stuffing.
Into a large, deep non-stick fry pan with a glass lid( if possible), put in the mince and chopped carrots and gently fry, turning frequently, until the fat from the meat runs. If using venison, you will have to add a tsp of vegetable oil to the pan as venison is extremely low in fat (3%). Add the chopped onions, pepper, until the vegetables start to soften. Add enough of the larger or beer to the mixture to keep it moist, adding the garlic cloves and fresh herbs and simmer till the carrots have softened. Set the mince aside.
The mince can be made the day before. Mince left-overs can be used as the savoury filling for the pumpkin.
Preparation of the pumpkin for stuffing.
Wash the pumpkin, keeping the stem attached to act as a handle to the lid. With a sharp knife, cut pierce the outer skin and work round the circumference of the pumpkin to create a lid.
(If your pumpkins are bigger, say 15 to 20 cm diameter, cut them at the “equator” into two equal pieces. Fill each half with mince and make the pumpkin into two servings).
Now, scoop out the seeds with a small spoon.
Fill the empty pumpkin shell with the savoury mixture and fit the pumpkin lid into place, if the pumpkin is to be only one serving.
Cooking of the stuffed fruit pumpkin.
Place the stuffed pumpkin onto a plate and put into the microwave and cook on the “high” setting.
Cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the pumpkin flesh is soft, and the mince filling is hot right through.
Alternatively, place in an oven and cook at 200 C for 30 mins or until the flesh is soft.
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