8 November 2010

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Pie

Posted in food at 11:46 pm by Tricia

pie pumpkin, carved

This was supposed to be Paper Chef weekend, but it looks like they never closed out the October challenge or started November’s. But in the spirit of inventing a recipe, I offer what I made for Friday’s dinner. I had some roasted pumpkin flesh because one of the pie pumpkins from our CSA got turned into a jack-o-lantern (see photo left). I also had some (local! grass-fed!) ground beef and wanted to do something middle eastern with it, rather than the standard tacos or spaghetti sauce. So I flipped through The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos (see overview here), and saw nothing sensational in the ground beef listings – but then I thought about her leek pie that I like, and looked at the ground meat filling directions in the book, and thought about the Greek pumpkin pie in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian (think spanakopita, not Thanksgiving dessert) while half listening to this cooking piece with Dorie Greenspan. And in the end, this is what I came up with.

Pumpkin and Ground Beef Pie

Ingredients
Half onion, sliced thin
3/4 lb ground beef
previously roasted flesh from one pie pumpkin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
~1/4 cup (green chile) pistachios, chopped
~1/4 cup feta, crumbled (optional)
1 sheet frozen commercial puff pastry
3 or 4 tablespoons melted butter

Steps:
Start defrosting puff pastry.

Sauté onion in olive oil. After if softens, stir in the cinnamon and cumin. Once the onions are nicely browned, remove about half.

Cook the ground beef with remaining onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove meat to degrease. Wipe out pan, then put pumpkin in pan with reserved onions. Stir over medium high until heated through (this might not be necessary, since it’s going into the oven, but I was hoping to meld flavors). Remove from heat. Stir in pistachios and feta.

Grease an 8×8 baking dish. Roll out puff pastry on a floured countertop. Cut a square slightly larger than your baking dish. Put in a layer of pastry, then put the filling on top. Cover with another layer of pastry – I did mine in strips b/c I didn’t have another square left, but it pretty much covered the surface at the end. I dipped the strips in the melted butter before layering them on – the butter is probably not necessary, although it might help with browning?

Cook at 350F for 30 minutes.

It was really good! I don’t know that I’ll ever make it again, because it was mostly a matter of using up ingredients on hand. However, it got compliments from both Jonski Papa and the adventurous 10 year old who tried it, so maybe I will. You could, of course, make your own pastry or even use phyllo, but I didn’t have time to make the pastry and had the puff pastry on hand. The green chile pistachios I have on hand are a souvenir from last year’s visit to New Mexico, but plain pistachios would be perfectly fine.

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