Friday, October 16, 2009

Lebanese Stuffed Squash (Kousa Mahshi)

4 med yellow squash (cleaned out, like a pumpkin)
1 lb lean ground beef  (or lamb)
1 med onion - chopped
about 4 T olive oil
2 T pine nuts
1/2 c. brown rice
4 - 5 med tomatoes - chopped
1 T tomato paste
1 sm can chicken stock
Cumin, allspice, cinnamon, salt, & pepper (to taste).  My Aunties would add some dried mint to this as well.  I used way less cinnamon than the other spices.  These amounts will depend on your palate. 

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it glistens.  Add pine nuts.  Toast them to golden brown.  Remove from pan into a bowl.  Add the ground beef into this bowl.
Add the onions and tomatoes to the dutch oven.  Cook over medium heat until the onions are transparent.   Take 1/2 of this mixture and add it into the bowl with the meat & pine nuts. 
Into the meat mixture, add the rice and seasonings.  Now you can spoon this stuffing into the squash, being careful to not make them too tightly packed, as the rice will expand.
Add chicken stock, some salt & pepper and also the tomato paste into the sauce left in the dutch oven.  Cook a few mintues until the tomato paste is well blended.  Place the squash back into the dutch oven.  If you have extra filling, add it back into the pan as well. 
Cover and cook over medium heat until the ground beef is cooked thoroughly... about 1 hour.   After about 30 mins, flip the squash.

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