This Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe makes a perfect cozy Sunday dinner, or festive holiday entré for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
1 large or 2 small pie pumpkins
1 ½ lbs russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ lbs ground beef or lamb
1 onion minced
2 cups chopped mushrooms (optional)
salt and pepper
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chicken or beef broth
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup half-and-half
2 cups frozen pea-carrot medley, thawed (optional)
2 apples and fresh rosemary for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Cook the potatoes – Cover potatoes with water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Prepare pumpkin – Cut top of pumpkin to create a lid, as shown in photos. Clean out seed with a spoon, scraping the insides down to the pulp. Reserve seeds to roast later. set the lid upside-down in a glass of water to soak the stem. Set pumpkin aside.
4. Cook and drain meat – While potatoes are cooking, brown meat in pan over medium heat, breaking meat up wit ha spoon, until meat is cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, reserving 2 tablespoons fat.
5. Sauté Aromatics – Add reserved fat back to pan and heat on medium. Add onion, mushroom (optional) and ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until flour is incorporated, about 1 minute.
6. Simmer filling – Whisk in broth, thyme, Worcestershire into onion mixture, scraping pan as you go, and bring to a simmer. Return meat to pan and cook medium-low until sauce is thickened, about 6 – 8 minutes. Test for flavor and add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add peas, carrots into mixture (optional)
8. Mash potatoes – Drain potatoes, return to hot pot and mash until smooth. Stir in butter, then half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9. Prepare pumpkin – Rub the inside of the pumpkin(s) with salt. Set each pumpkin in a small roasting pan or casserole dish. Surround pumpkin with quartered apples and rosemary. Fill pumpkins 2/3 full with meat mixture. Fill pumpkins to bottom of opening with mashed potatoes. Replace tops of pumpkins.
10. Cook – Bake in oven for approximately 90 minutes or until pumpkin “gives” when you squeeze the sides. It may take longer than 90 minutes depending on the size of the pumpkin.
11. Broil – If you would like to brown the mashed potatoes, broiul them for 3-5 minutes with the pumpkin lid removed.
I make my version with mushrooms as the vegetable but I’ve also included instructions for traditional pea-carrot medley. Both are optional.
Keywords: Stuffed Pumpkin, Thanksgiving, Shepherd's Pie, Comfort food, Cold weather dinner, Sunday dinner, Christmas dinner, beef dish, lamb dish, pumpkin dish