About a month ago, Sarah and I visited a fun little place called Bate’s Nut Farm, about 45 minutes northeast of San Diego. We had heard it was an excellent place for families to take their children, and even though our particular child hasn’t been born yet, we figured we could “scope it out” for the future. This trip inspired this Ground Beef and Mushroom Cream Stuffed Pumpkins recipe that I will share with you today.
Ground Beef and Mushroom Cream Stuffed Pumpkins
So I found these great little pumpkins that were just begging to be stuffed with tasty goodness. Unfortunately, I don’t have any real preparation pictures, as I made this delicious meal over a month ago, and I didn’t think to snap any progress pics, just the outcome. This is not a fast meal to make, but it is definitely worth the time and effort! Also worth mentioning, this dish is definitely not paleo (thanks to the dairy) and barely qualifies as Primal (thanks to the beer), but as far as “cheat meals” go, this one is pretty harmless, so don’t feel too bad… You can always skip the beer, although, in my opinion, you lose a great flavour without it!
Ground Beef and Mushroom Cream Stuffed PumpkinsPrint Recipe
- 2 small pumpkins or 1 medium-large size pumpkin
- 2 pounds of ground beef
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 2 white onions, chopped
- 1 cup of carrots, chopped
- 1 package of mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon plus extra to dust inside of pumpkin
- 1/2 cup of coconut flour
- 1 bottle of beer
- salt and pepper to taste
- coconut oil
- Melt 2 tbsps lard in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and carrots. Sautee until onions start to brown and carrots soften.
- Remove onions and carrots and set aside. Add ground beef to the pan. Using a spoon or spatula, break the ground beef up, then stir in 2 tbsp of cinnamon and an entire beer bottle. If not using beer, add 1 cup of water instead.
- Cover the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. You will want to cook until almost all of the beer has cooked off. This is usually about 15 – 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it; you don’t want to burn the meat!
- Once almost all of the beer has cooked off, add onions and carrots back to the pan with the beef. Stir thoroughly and cook for 1 – 2 minutes longer.
- Transfer the mix into a bowl and set aside.
Mushroom Cream Sauce
- In a medium pot, heat beef broth just to boil.
- Wash and dice mushrooms and add to broth and boil for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and add heavy whipping cream and stir thoroughly.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce mixture on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While stirring with a whisk, slowly add coconut flour. Try to avoid lumps of dry flour and break apart any lumps that may form with your whisk.
- Cook for 3 – 5 minutes longer, constantly stirring to prevent clumping.
- Remove from heat and mix into meat stuffing mixture.
Preparing the Pumpkins
- Wash the pumpkins thoroughly to make sure you don’t have any hidden dirt sneaking into your meal. Using a large knife (or, if you still have one handy from Halloween, a pumpkin saw), cut the tops of the pumpkins off. Make sure the openings are wide enough to fit your hand. Cut the “guts” and seeds off the top piece, then set it aside as we will be using it soon.
- Using a spoon (or a pumpkin scoop), scoop and scrape all the guts and seeds out of the pumpkins. You’ll want the inside to be clear of all “stringy”, so be thorough in your scraping. (If you like pumpkin seeds, use a colander and rinse and wash the seeds. Add salt, a dash of garlic powder and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. – Easy snack!)
- Dust the inside of the pumpkins with ground Cinnamon, including the tops!
- Rub the entirety of the pumpkins down with coconut oil. If your coconut oil is solid, warm it in the microwave for 5 – 6 seconds to liquify it, then use a paper towel to smear the oil onto the pumpkins.
Stuff and Bake the Pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Stuff the pumpkins with the meat and mushroom cream sauce mixture. Don’t be afraid to fill it to the top if you have enough stuffing!
- Place the pumpkins on a baking sheet, then bake for 1-1/2 hours or until the pumpkins are soft and tender and can be pierced easily with a fork. Take care when removing them from the oven. They may leak a bit!
- Serve in the pumpkin, and be sure to eat the pumpkin flesh with the stuffing. It’s delicious!
- Beer is made from wheat and therefore contains gluten, albeit in pretty small amounts. If you have a gluten sensitivity skip the beer and use water instead (or get creative with white wine, perhaps!)
- If you don’t want to make your own mushroom cream sauce, you can sub in 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup. However, look at those ingredients and note the MSG and soy are hiding in there!
- This really is a “meal in an edible bowl” – No need for any other sides here. You’ve got everything you need in front of you!