Recipe: mexicali beef stew in a pumpkin shell

Recipe: mexicali beef stew in a pumpkin shell

Mexicali Beef Stew in a Pumpkin Shell

2 1/2 pounds beef for stew, 1- to 1 1/4-inch pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 (13.75 ounce) cans ready-to-serve beef broth
1 cup mild or medium picante sauce
2 medium zucchini, 1/4-inch slices
4 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
2 small tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained

In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef, onions and garlic (1/2 at a time) and brown beef evenly. Pour off drippings. Add broth and picante sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile prepare Pumpkin Shell Tureen. Add zucchini to Dutch oven; continue cooking, covered, 10 minutes or until beef is tender.

Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in tomatoes and olives. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Ladle into Pumpkin Shell Tureen.

Yields 8 servings.

Pumpkin Shell Tureen
Cut top off 5- to 6-pound pumpkin; scrape out fibers and seeds. Approximately 10 minutes before serving, pour boiling water into pumpkin; cover and let stand. Drain before serving.

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