Caveman Cuisine: Meaty Pumpkin Pot
A few months ago I started a Tumblr site called Paleo Nomz as a way for people to easily post pictures of their favorite Paleo and Primal foods and recipes. Sure, Flickr and Facebook allow you to create groups and to share pictures, but Tumblr allowed me to make something that dedicated completely and utterly to Paleo and Primal food pics.
Photos started coming in pretty much right away and I was blown away by how delicious these recipes looked. There were things that I had never even thought of, like baking eggs in the bottoms of bell peppers to make egg-filled "flowers", making "lasagna" with pork belly, and bacon-wrapped chicken thighs. One recipe, however, represented a conceptual leap that revolutionized my way of thinking about a particular ingredient that I have been using for years.
When I thought of pumpkin, I generally thought of pumpkin pie, possibly pumpkin ice cream, or maybe even pumpkin smoothies or soup. What I didn't think of, however, was not only using pumpkin in a savory dish, but literally making a pumpkin THE dish!
What I saw was a meat-filled wonder. Right then I knew I had to have one for myself.
1 small "sugar" pumpkin (seeds and "guts" removed)
1lb beef (I used some mock tender steaks)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lard or olive oil (I used the leftover pig fat from this recipe)
4-5 cloves garlic (minced)
12oz canned crushed tomatoes (with juice)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning blend (dried rosemary, parsley, basil, thyme, and oregano)
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
Real Parmesan or Romano cheese
Step 1: Make your meat
In a large saucepan, heat lard or olive oil over medium heat. Add cow meat and brown for a few minutes on each side. Pour crushed tomato over the beef and add garlic and Italian seasoning. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover (keep the lid cracked to allow steam to escape so the sauce will reduce). The meat will need to cook for at least an hour, which works out perfectly considering that is exactly how long it takes to finish the next step.
Step 2: Bake your pumpkin
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rub the inside of your pumpkin with butter (or lard), put on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet, and put in the oven. Set the timer for 45min. When the pumpkin is ready, it should be soft and giving, but not mushy.
Step 3: Stuff
Remove the meat from the pan and cut into bite-sized pieces. Stuff the chunks of meat into the pumpkin. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper and then pour over the meat, filling the pumpkin right up to the top. Add a few grates of fresh cheese.
Step 4: Consume
With a fork and knife, you can then start slicing pieces of the pumpkin off, dipping them in the sauce, following with a chunk of meat, and continuing in this manner until the entire thing is comfortably relocated to your belly.