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Baked Brisket and Rice Stuffed Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 2 3 pound pie pumpkins
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 large shallots, diced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup gruyere
  • 1 1/2 pounds smoked brisket

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Slice the top off of the pumpkin. Remove the seeds and any excess pulp. Rub the interior of both pumpkins with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Set aside.
  • Place 1 tablespoon butter, pancetta, shallot, thyme and red pepper flakes into a medium sized skillet. Saut√© over medium heat for about 7 minutes, or until the pancetta is cooked and the shallots softened. Add the Arborio rice and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken stock and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt simmer until the liquid is almost absorbed. Remove from the heat. Add the cream, water, gruyere and brisket into the skillet. Stir well. If the mixture appears a bit dry, add additional water or chicken stock.
  • Place the mixture into both pumpkins. Top each pumpkin with 1 tablespoon butter, cut into quarters. Place the pumpkins on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and return the tops to the pumpkins. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the rice is cooked all the way through.
  • Remove from the oven and spoon out the rice mixture with the pumpkin. Serve warm with crusty buttery bread and salt to taste.

Notes

The amount of salt used is determined by the brisket and chicken stock used. If the brisket and chicken stock used is salty, then adjust the 1/2 teaspoon of salt added to the rice mixture accordingly. The liquid from the pumpkin will ooze out of the bottom of the pumpkin. Parchment paper will keep this mess from sticking to the bottom of the sheet pan. Omit the red pepper flakes if a bit of heat is not desired.