Carry a finely seasoned stew to your table in a handsome pumpkin for a unique presentation. Remove the lid and serve the stew with a portion of tender pumpkin straight from the shell. Your guests will savour the tasty combination and you don't have to worry about your pumpkin tureen turning into a coach!
- Portion size 6 servings
In heavy saucepan, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the butter; cook onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until onions are limp. Remove with slotted spoon; set aside.
Cut beef into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Combine flour, salt and pepper in sturdy plastic bag. Add meat, a few pieces at a time; shake until lightly coated with flour.
In saucepan, melt remaining butter with oil over high heat. Add meat a layer at a time; cook until browned all over. Remove with slotted spoon.
Return onion mixture and browned meat to saucepan; stir in tomatoes, currants, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and bay leaf. Bring to boil, covered; reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Stir frequently and uncover, if necessary, in last 20 minutes to thicken gravy.
Pumpkin: Meanwhile, prepare pumpkin. Wash pumpkin; cut out 4-inch (10 cm) lid. Using large spoon, scoop out seeds and scrape away any stringy flesh. (Reserve seeds to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, if desired.) Brush inside of pumpkin with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pumpkin and lid on heatproof serving tray. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven for 25 minutes.
Taste stew and adjust seasoning if necessary. Carefully ladle stew into pumpkin; cover with lid and return to oven for about 45 minutes or just until inside of pumpkin is tender.
Topping: Just before serving, combine yogurt and onions. Carry pumpkin to table. With large spoon, serve stew and portion of pumpkin with yogurt mixture spooned over.