Mexicali Beef Stew in Pumpkin Shell
2 1/2 lb beef for stew
1 - 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 clove garlic, crushed
4 c beef stock
1 c mild or medium salsa or picante sauce
2 medium zucchini cut into 1/4" slices
4 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
2 small tomatoes, chopped into bite-size bits
2 1/4 oz can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 pumpkin, 5 - 6 pounds
In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef, onions, and garlic; brown beef evenly. Pour off drippings. Add broth and salsa. Return beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 1-½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cut top off pumpkin; scrape out fibers and seeds. Approximately 10 minutes before serving, pour boiling water into pumpkin; cover and let stand. Drain before serving. Add zucchini to Dutch oven; continue cooking, covered, 10 minutes or until beef is tender. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in tomatoes and olives. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Ladle into Pumpkin Shell.