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Beef Stew Baked in a Pumpkin

2 lb. beef stew meat
2 tbsp. oil
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lg. tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. dried apricots
3 white potatoes, peeled & diced
3 sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
1 1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1 med. pumpkin
1/4 c. dry sherry
1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained

In large pot brown beef in oil. Add onions and garlic. Stir until the onions are tender. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, apricots, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer while pumpkin is being prepared. Remove top from pumpkin and discard. Scoop out seeds and stringy membrane, leaving pumpkin flesh intact. Brush inside of pumpkin with butter. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place pumpkin in shallow pan. Spoon mixture into pumpkin shell. Bake for 1 hour. Stir sherry and corn into stew. Continue baking for 1/2 hour to 1 hour longer until pumpkin flesh is tender. Carefully remove pumpkin from oven if it is very soft it may split.

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