Stuffing bakes in a Pumpkin

Makes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 pumpkin, medium about 3-4 pounds (1.35 - 1.8kg)
2 - 3 baguettes, can be day old, cut in 1” (2.5cm) pieces
3 tablespoons (45 g) butter
Olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced 1/4” (6 mm) pieces
1 large carrot, diced 1/4” (6 mm) pieces
2 stalks of celery, diced 1/4” (6 mm) pieces
3/4 cup (115 g) fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
2–4 garlic cloves
4 slices bacon, chopped
6 breakfast sausages, cranberry if available
2 tablespoons (30 g) fresh thyme, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons (30 g) fresh sage, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons (30 g) fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
1 pound (450 g) sharp Canadian white cheddar, grated
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
1 cup (240 ml) chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Stuffing bakes in a Pumpkin

METHOD

Remove all racks in the oven except the bottom rack and preheat the oven to 350°F/176.6°C.

Remove the top of pumpkin creating roughly a 6” (15 cm) diameter cut to allow you to easily work inside the pumpkin. Cut on an angle as you will use the top as a lid. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean, discarding all the pulp and seeds. Cut the pulp away from the lid and set aside. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and place the pumpkin on a large pie plate. Then place on a sturdy cookie sheet lined with tin foil.

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Cut the bread into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces and place in an extra large bowl. Grate the Canadian cheddar cheese onto the bread and mix. Set aside.

In a large frying pan, fry bacon and sausage meat over medium high heat. (remove sausage meat from casings and discard). Stir, breaking the sausage meat up as it cooks and bacon crisps for about 7-8 minutes. When brown transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add to the frying pan 3 tablespoons (45 g) of butter and melt. Add a couple of tablespoons (30-45 ml) of olive oil, then add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Saute’ for 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent. Add thyme, sage, rosemary and cranberries and stir till mixed.

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Toss the bread and cheese with the vegetable herb mixture. Then add the meat mixture and combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock, combine. Add the cream and combine.

Place the stuffing mixture into the pumpkin and top with lid. Bake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until the flesh of the pumpkin is tender and starts to sag. Remove top and cook for an additional 20 minutes in order to brown top.

Carefully remove from the oven. Lift the pumpkin off cookie sheet leaving it in the pie plate and place on serving platter or large board.

Serve by spoon making sure that each guest gets a portion of pumpkin and stuffing.

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