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Cooking pumpkin stew & enjoying a ginger beer libation while dancing to the beat of Shakira

Written by Nazarina on October 22nd, 2009

Greetings!

(old blog www.giddygastronome.blogspot.com)

After much provocative dancing with my newly found South African friends to the beat of  Shakirah’s ” hips don’t lie”, we sat down to dinner….

“Como se llama, bonita, mi casa, su casa

N a z a r i n a , N a z a r i n a ( just kidding I meant to say Shakira, Shakira)

Senorita, feel  the conga, let me see you move like you come from Colombia.

…OMG, I still have this song ringing in my ear! Read below how I met these crazy people!

Paying homage to some autumnal classics

Bubbly, virgin pear &  ginger beer crushed ice cubes  & sparkling water with a cinnamon sugar rim libation. Sparkling water “perks”  up any drink, it is like a good fitting brazier.……you know where I am going with this!!!

cinnamom-ginger-fizzy-nazar

And……”Pampoen bredie”( pumpkin stew with beef), mango pickle, ( you gotta have sour with the sweet & a little spicy), wild rice and brown basmati  with black mustard seeds and roasted red bell peppers.

“Brown & wild” very much like me LOL! ( Purchased  the brown & wild basmati at the  farmer’s market)

pumpk-nazarina-550-bord531

As a small child growing up in South Africa, I was introduced to this Cape Malay classic known as “pampoen bredie ( pumpkin stew with tender brown beef) by my loving mom.  I remembered not liking it very much, simply because I was a kid who disliked vegetables and was a  heck of a poor eater as well! Now, I  have come to the realization that this very infamous “pampoen bredie” was  by no means an impromptu dish prepared by my mom and her sisters, in fact,  it was slow cooked  with a “lotta” love and made only with  the best ingredients. I should have known that mediocrity had no place at their  kitchen table even if it was just this humble gourd!….Thank God my taste buds matured!

Last week while doing my weekly shopping at Whole Foods, I  ran into four South Africans. I heard them conversing in Afrikaans and well, simply  introduced myself. And then all h… broke loose!  Our handshakes were by no means flaccid, I can assure you they were firm, rapid and extremely impressive much like a well shaken  drink! ( Is this not a common phenomenon when meeting your fellow countrymen? LOL!) I decided then and there to invite them all to dinner that night  and being the gracious hostess that I am inquired  about any of their  preferences , ironically they all answered, “pampoen bredie!” Sweet! I thought, I was going to spoil myself by making this dish anyway!

And so I graciously obliged but with the intention of a little “forward thinking” of the preparation of this dish. So, in order  not to dishonor my mom’s version, I would still mirror the premise of this Cape Malay classic but with a tiny little twist. C’mon, we cannot always stay rooted in tradition!

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I also  concocted this stunning little virgin  sipper with the intention of evoking  refreshing and delicious drama!

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Use some of the pears to garnish the drinks and  the remainder ( peeled) blend with  the bottled  pear juice.

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Method for the drink: Chill everything except the pears!

Pour some ginger beer ( Non-alcoholic)  in ice cube trays and freeze, when ready to garnish the drinks, crush some in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.

Blend 4 cups of the pear juice, the remainder of the pears( peeled) with 1 and a half cups of ginger beer until fully incorporated and then shake like the dickens. Mix some organic sugar with cinnamon for the rim( first rim the glass with a lemon wedge) and then dip into the cinnamon sugar. Fill glasses halfway with the pear mixture and top off with a scoop of ginger beer ice cubes and then fill to the top with sparkling water.

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You are going to become addicted to this gingery non–alcoholic  libation!

Recipe for:

“Pampoen bredie” ( Pumpkin stew with grass-fed organic stewing beef)

Please use organic ingredients when possible!

The method is similar to this post that I wrote in January “Grass-fed organic beef cooked low and slow with fru-fru potatoes”

slow-cooked-beef-in-rich-gr

Follow the ingredient list and method of  that post but do not add potatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Add a quarter teaspoon of black or pale yellow mustard seeds to the onions and then caramelize. Next, peel and cube  two  small white pumpkins. Lay the first cubed pumpkin ( this is my little twist) on a baking tray and sprinkle with kosher salt, some brown sugar, cinnamon, pure pickle masala( just a tiny sprinkling), some nutmeg  and some extra virgin olive oil and roast for an hour. This should be tender but not mushy!!!

Add the second cubed pumpkin to the beef  when it is  tender and dark brown and delicious and cook for an hour until the pumpkin cubes have melted in the meat gravy. Adjust your seasoning and add a little brown sugar, two dried red chilies, two stick cinnamon to the mixture as well. Just before serving add the roasted pumpkin cubes to this pot and simmer for ten minutes. Serve in little pumpkins, rice on the bottom then the  pumpkin stew. Also serve mango pickles with this dish.

My fellow South Africans had so much fun and simply loved the meal I  prepared in such a short time. They could not get over the fact that I served it in individual little pumpkins. They are now going to inform their family and friends about coming to this blog for my version. They are also coming back next week for another dinner and hopefully dessert! Maybe they will allow me to post our  dance video….let me see whether I could convince them!

Julle mal Suid Afrikaners is lekker b…Ek moet se daar is niemand wat soos ons kan dans en n’ gekke spektakel van ons self te maak nie!!!!!


I  hope you enjoyed this post.

Thanks for stopping by,

Nazarina.

Click here this will take you to my latest recipes!

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20 Comments so far ↓

  1. what nice recipe and magnificent presentation 🙂

  2. TeresaNo Gravatar says:

    Nazarina, what a delightful cocktail. I love the garnish, it looks so pretty. So is the cookbook out yet?

  3. SomaNo Gravatar says:

    How beautifully presented. You take so much care with your work & food.. it shows. Love the drink.

  4. What a beautiful pictures of this cocktail.. so perfect for my spring warm days and pumpkin stew is just awesome 🙂

    Cheers!

    Gera

  5. dawnNo Gravatar says:

    I love what you did with the pear. I need to take some craving lessons from you-you are quite talented there.

  6. The cocktail with pear sounds delightful and pumpkin stew with grass-fed beef looks excellent! Such wonderful fall flavors!

  7. ochikeronNo Gravatar says:

    Beautiful!!! I always wonder how you come up with these ideas and presentation.

    I haven’t made any autumn recipes yet so maybe I should this weekend!!!

    Anyway, I want to see how you create your work and take these pics. Can you show us the process someday?!

  8. Both the drink and the dish are magnificent! Like your experience, my ears perk up on the rare occasion that I hear someone speak in Tagalog (Filipino) but I don’t always have the courage to approach them. But I may be missing some opportunities to be invited for a homecooked meal, as you did for your new friends!

    The presentations are absolutely lovely!

  9. Jo A. T.B.No Gravatar says:

    Wow! You never fail to impress Nazarina! I’ve never tried a dish with cooked pumpkin and beef before. Your combination of ingredients is to die for!

    I’m sure your guests were enjoying every single bite, along with sipping on the lovely pear ginger beer! Never had ginger beer either!

    No wonder you’re always so busy, entertaining folks you just met! Leave it to you to come up with the best versions of down home traditional cooking! How wonderful to meet folks from your native Africa! I’m sure they were so impressed by you!

    Started a new job two weeks ago, been so very exhausted and mind blown from all the new training!
    My brother in law was up your way elk hunting, and said they actually had to go back to camp one day because it was snowing so hard!

    Your post is beautiful as always! Hugs ~ Jo

  10. TiffaneeNo Gravatar says:

    Looks delicious and you have a incredible eye for presenting it all. Love your blog!!

  11. ShriNo Gravatar says:

    Stunning presentation, Nazarina!

  12. PalidorNo Gravatar says:

    Brown and wild? I love it! I’ve got the brown part down… now I need to work on my wild side. I love your presentation. Everything looks so beautiful.

  13. FaithNo Gravatar says:

    I love your autumnal classics…seasonal flavors are divine! And your dishes are presented so beautifully…your stuffed pumpkins look like something out of a gorgeous magazine!

  14. JulianaNo Gravatar says:

    Oh! Everything look so yummie…specially the drink, would love to give a try 🙂

  15. Nutmeg NannyNo Gravatar says:

    Wow everything you made looks amazing! I love the presentation and photography of your food. My stomach is rumbling just looking at all this deliciousness!

  16. VegetationNo Gravatar says:

    I love that you had people back for dinner whom you had just met!!!

    And mmm this stew sounds absolutely divine!

    As for the drinks, well ginger beer just happens to be a long time favourite of mine so there\’s not a doubt in my mind I would love those!

  17. VINCENTNo Gravatar says:

    Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

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    Best regards,

    Vincent
    petitchef.com

  18. SusanNo Gravatar says:

    A beautiful array of recipes! The colors and flavors are very tempting. Pear and pumpkin are fall favorites here.

  19. Wow! Yes, I enjoyed a lot! You give me more feelings to be in the kitchen.

  20. Fahima MoosNo Gravatar says:

    Your culinary skills are absolutely amazing. Simply luv the way you present your foodstuff.
    A very talented South African. Well done.

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