Jack O'Lantern Stew (also known as Mexicali Beef Stew in a Pumpkin Shell) Kid-Friendly Meals
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- 2-1/2 lbs. beef for stew, cut into 1 to 1-1/2 inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cans (14-oz) ready-to-serve beef broth
- 1 cup mild or medium prepared picante sauce
- 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 4 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cool water
- 2 small tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
- 1 can (2-1/2 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained
In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add beef, onions, and garlic, 1/2 at a time. Brown beef evenly, stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings, if necessary.
Stir broth and picante sauce into beef mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer 1-1/2 hours.
Add zucchini to stew. Cover and continue cooking 10 minutes or until beef and zucchini are tender.
Stir conrstarch into the 1/4 cup water until smooth. Stir mixture into stew. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened.
Stir in tomatoes and olives. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the pumpkin shell. Cut top off of the pumpkin. Scrape out and discard fibers and seeds. Pour BOILING water to fill the pumpkin shell at least three-quarters full; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Pour water out of pumpkin.
To serve, ladle stew into pumpkin shell.