Saturday 23 November 2013

#WinterWarmers : Double-Decker Stuffed Whole Pumpkin

Having joined in with the Cookalong on Nigella Lawson's website last month and discovered a recipe for an utterly delectable Devil's Food Cake (totally sinful but oh-so-good !), I decided to head over and see what this month's recipe was. The new challenge is lighter on the waistline but equally show-stopping - a whole pumpkin stuffed with jewelled rice and topped with gingery tomato sauce.

Well, being married to a carnivore Frenchman who always thinks vegetarian food is lacking something, I decided to tweak the recipe quite a lot and make a double-layered stuffed pumpkin, with a meaty sauce at the bottom and the jewelled rice at the top. It worked really well, made a complete meal and didn't even need the gingery sauce, although I like the sound of that too so I'll save it for another meal. Here's how I made my version  but for the original recipe, head over to If you join in with the cookalong, let me know how you get on !

 Double-Decker Stuffed Whole Pumpkin

ingredients :

1 medium-sized pumpkin

a drizzle of olive oil
2 onions (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
500g minced beef
1/2 red pepper, 1/2 green pepper
1 Knorr Beef Gravy Pot
salt, pepper

1 clove garlic (minced)
1 onion (finely chopped)
a handful of mushrooms (chopped)
75g dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
zest of 1 clementine
approx. 150g basmati rice
approx. 1/2 litre hot vegetable stock (I used a Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

Wash and dry the pumpkin. We ate the whole thing, even the skin, so make sure there's no mud left on there !  Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/390ºF. Slice a lid off the top of the pumpkin, and remove the seeds and stringy bits from the inside, keeping the top to put back on later.

In a large frying pan, fry the onions and garlic in a little olive oil for a few minutes, then add the minced beef and the peppers. Plop a Knorr Gravy Pot in to the pan and pour on a little boiling water. 

Cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. (You may need to add a little extra water to get the right consistency.)

Use this sauce to fill the bottom half of the pumpkin.

In the same frying pan as before, start afresh with some onions and garlic in a little olive oil, then add the mushrooms, cook for a few minutes more, then add dried cranberries and sprinkle with the spices. Throw in the rice, stir for 1 minute then pour over the stock (or add a Knorr stock pot and pour over boiling water).

Cook, stirring regularly, for several minutes until the risotto is not quite cooked. It should still be quite wet and the rice can still be a bit firm, as this will continue cooking in the oven.

Use the rice mixture to fill the rest of the pumpkin.

Put the lid back on top of the pumpkin. Put some foil in a large roasting tin, put the pumpkin on top, fold it around the base of the pumpkin and pour 1-2cm of boiling water into the tin. Put the whole thing in the oven until it is cooked through. Cooking times will vary depending on the size and type of pumpkin but as a rough guide, ours took about an hour.

To serve, slice as you would a cake. 

It holds its shape surprisingly well. We had plenty of leftovers for the next day, which we heated up in the microwave.

Disclosure : This is my first entry for the Unilever Kitchen #UKWinterChallenge. They sent through a hamper of products, which I told you about here.

Link up your recipe of the week

Romanian um Blog

Joining in with this week's Foodie Friday which has a Halloween theme
Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Haggis recipe #3 : Veggie haggis with baked onions & tomatoes


  1. Best pumpkin idea I have seen yet - love it! Popping over from Recipe of the week

  2. Wow, that looks impressive. Thanks for linking up with #recipeoftheweek. I've pinned this post and there's a fresh linky live now - would be great to see you join in again x

  3. oh nice one! you can feed a whole family with that! thank you so much for linking up with the #FoodieFriday


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