Bison in a Pumpkin Shell
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

1 medium pumpkin (make sure it will stand up in your oven)
1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil or butter
1 dozen pearl onions, diced
1 ½ pounds ground bison
1 8-ounce tin of water chestnuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tin cream of chicken soup
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
4 cups wild rice, cooked

Preheat the oven to 375 ºF.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Thoroughly wash and dry the outside of the pumpkin. Carefully cut the
top off the pumpkin so you can place it back on as a lid. Scoop out
the seeds and stringy membrane. Save the seeds for baking on a cookie
sheet. Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the oil or butter and
sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet.

In a large skillet, sauté onions in the oil. Add ground bison and cook
until no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Add salt, pepper,
and water chestnuts.

In a large bowl, mix the soup, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Add the ground
bison mixture and cooked rice.

Scrape the bowl into the pumpkin shell and replace the pumpkin top.

Bake for 1 hour on the lower rack of the oven, or on a rack where the
pumpkin can be centered in the oven.

After 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove the top and check the sides of the
pumpkin for doneness. The outside of the pumpkin should be a dark orange,
and the inside of the pumpkin should be tender and easy to scoop out the
sides with a spoon. If the inside of the pumpkin is still not fully cooked,
bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending
on the size of the pumpkin.

Take a pair of oven mitts and place the pumpkin onto a platter, remove the
lid and stir. Serve at the table by scooping off chunks from the pumpkin sides
into the bowls in which you are serving.

Editor's Note:
This is similar to a recipe we ran in the October 2003 issue. Try them both.

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