Beef and Pumpkin Stew with Pomegranates



  • 1 two-pound cooking pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 poblano chilies
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound red potatoes, with skins on, cut into pieces


  1. Steam pumpkin cubes until just tender, about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, broil or grill peppers to blister skins. While hot, place in plastic bag and allow to sweat to loosen skin. Remove skin when cool, cut into 1/2-inch strips, discard seeds and tops.

  3. Cut pomegranate into halves. Remove enough seeds to measure 1/4 cup. Juice the halves and set aside along with the seeds.

  4. In a deep saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or two. Add the beef and sauté, stirring often, until browned on all sides about 7 or 8 minutes.

  5. Sprinkle the flour, turmeric, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne over the meat. Stir the meat to brown the flour and spices, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red wine and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the beef broth and water, reduce heat to low, and simmer the beef 1 hour. Add the potatoes an continue to cook till potatoes are barely tender.

  6. While stew is cooking, melt remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pumpkin and increase the heat to medium high. Sprinkle with remaining cayenne and salt, and sauté until browned. Remove and set aside.

  7. When the meat and potatoes are tender, add the pumpkin, pepper strips, and pomegranate juice. Simmer about 5 minutes, then serve, topping each serving with a sprinkle of the pomegranate seeds.
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