Pumpkin Cider Stew

Pumpkin Cider Stew

A warm, hearty stew to warm the cold winter evenings. It can be made without the beef, if desired.


Ingredients:

3 tablespoons fennel seeds, crushed

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)

2 medium onions, halved, sliced into thin slivers

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (14 ounce) can beef broth

1 ½ cups apple cider

¼ cup cider vinegar

6-7 miniature white and/or orange pumpkins

2 medium parsnips or carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces.

2 Jonathan or Gala apples, cored and cut into wedges


Directions:

  1. combine flour, 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a self-sealing plastic bag. Close bag and shake to coat.

  2. In a Dutch oven brown half the beef (if using) and half the onion at a time in 1 tablespoon hot oil. Return the meat and onion to the Dutch oven.

  3. Add the broth, cider and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 1 ¼ hours.

  4. Meanwhile, cut ½ inch slice from the bottom of each pumpkin, and discard the slice. Scoop out the seeds and pumpkin strings.

  5. Add the pumpkin pieces and parsnips to the beef mixture. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer (covered) for 25 minutes.

  6. Add apples, cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender.

  7. Ladle into bowls and serve. Makes 8 servings.


NOTE: Miniature pumpkins tend to be hard and have a tough shell. Pumpkins can be easier to eat if the stem is removed and pumpkins are peeled. The pumpkins can also be cut into wedges.

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