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Turkish Pumpkin and Beef Stew – Kabaklama

This hearty stew has savory, spicy and sour notes that will leave your tastebuds happy. It’s an Eastern Turkish dish called “kabaklama,” a wonderful meal to enjoy in the fall and winter. I love carving pumpkins at Halloween with the kiddos, but I always save one to to make kabaklama (and maybe even a dessert with any leftover pumpkin).

There are two ingredients in this recipe that you’d have to buy at a Turkish or other Mediterranean market (pepper salça and sour sumac sauce). However, I’ll give you substitutions that are more common in a Western kitchen. It will change the flavor of the dish somewhat but will still taste yummy.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lbs of beef (any cut)
  • 4 cups of cubed pumpkin
  • 1 medium-large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp pepper salça  (or 2 tbsp tomato paste and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper)
  • ¼ tsp sour sumac sauce (or ~1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ~2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • ~2 cups water
  • ~2 cup beef bone broth

Start by cutting your pumpkin into large cubes. If you’ve not done this before, you will need to half your pumpkin, scoop out the innards, and cut the “meat” from the hard outer skin. Cut them into chunks like you would cut potatoes in a stew. Place in a large mixing bowl and add in the pepper salca (aka pepper paste). Mix together well and set aside.

Chop your onion into small pieces and crush and chop your garlic. Cut your beef into small pieces.

Place a large pot on high heat and add in olive oil, shortly followed by the meat, garlic and onions. Cook until the meat is brown and the onion and garlic fragrant, then add the water beef bone broth, salt and the pumpkin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes until the pumpkin and the meat are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in the sour sumac sauce (it is SO sour so be careful with it!)

Place a shallow pan onto high heat and add the remaining olive oil. When oil gets hot, quickly add the dried mint, swirl the pan so the mint is completely immersed with the oil and immediately add to the stew.

Enjoy as is, or serve with a side of rice or bread. Enjoy!

Turkish Pumpkin and Beef Stew - Kabaklama

Dinner Turkish, Mediterranean
By Janice Yucel Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cooking Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs of beef (any cut)
  • 4 cups of cubed pumpkin
  • 1 medium-large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp pepper salça  (or 1 tbsp tomato paste and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper)
  • ¼ tsp sour sumac sauce (or ~1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ~2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • ~2 cups water
  • ~2 cup beef bone broth

Instructions

1

Start by cutting your pumpkin into large cubes. If you’ve not done this before, you will need to half your pumpkin, scoop out the innards, and cut the “meat” from the hard outer skin. Cut them into chunks like you would cut potatoes in a stew.

2

Place in a large mixing bowl and add in the pepper salca (aka pepper paste). Mix together well and set aside.

3

Chop your onion into small pieces and crush and chop your garlic.

4

Cut your beef into small pieces.

5

Place a large pot on high heat and add in 1 tbsp olive oil, shortly followed by the meat, garlic and onions. Cook until the meat is brown and the onion and garlic fragrant, then add the water, beef bone broth, salt and pumpkin.

6

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover.

7

Cook for about 25 minutes until the pumpkin and the meat are tender.

8

Remove from heat. Stir in the sour sumac sauce (it is SO sour so be careful with it!)

9

Place a shallow pan onto high heat and add the remaining olive oil. When oil gets hot, quickly add the dried mint, swirl the pan so the mint is completely immersed with the oil and immediately add to the stew.

10

Enjoy as is, or serve with a side of rice or bread. Enjoy!

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