Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash
Poor little acorn squash, being so patient. It IS summer…. and you ARE kind of a “fall” thing…… but I bought you! And now I need to be a responsible produce consumer, and eat you.
I searched for a stuffed acorn squash recipe, and found this delicious-looking one here, from Whole9. I followed it quite closely, but made a few substitutions.
Squash tip #1: They can be challenging to cut open, so word to the wise: save your fingers, and soften them up first! Stab the little guy about 6 times with a chef’s knife – make sure you get through to the middle, so any steam can escape (and avoid an explosion). Pop it in the microwave for about 3 minutes, then (carefully!) take it out and let it cool off a bit. Then you can easily slice ‘er open, and scoop out the seeds and gross stringy bits:
Preheat your oven to 375. Put the cleaned-out squash halves on a cookie sheet, and put a tsp on water in each. Tent them with aluminum foil, and pop them in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. Check them at 30 to see if they are soft/tender when you poke them with a knife.
Meanwhile, melt 1 TBSP coconut oil in a skillet, and brown 1 LB of grass-fed ground beef. Season with salt and pepper, and add 4 or 5 minced garlic cloves about half-way through.
If you have any fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme would work), throw them at the end of cooking. Otherwise, sprinkle in 1 tsp dried sage and/or whatever floats your boat. While the meat is browning, chop up 1/2 cup of pecans. I pre-roasted mine in the oven for just a minute or so until they start to darken and smell “nutty”. Watch them closely – they can burn fast! This step isn’t necessary if you are in a rush, but the roasting contributes to the flavour. Chop up a crisp, juicy apple; I used a Gala, which worked well.
Chop the pecans roughly. After the ground beef has finished browning, add the apple and the pecans, with about 2 Tbsp of liquid. I just used water, but beef broth, vegetable broth, or even wine would work well. Taste the mixture and season to your liking. Cover, and let it simmer for just 1 minute. Then scoop the mixture into your pre-roasted squash halves, and throw them back in the oven (un-tented) for about 10 minutes. I had extra stuffing, which was wonderful scrambled with our eggs the next morning!
When they are lightly browned on top, they’re ready to go!
Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash
1 acorn squash
1 LB grass-fed ground beef
1 TBSP coconut oil
salt and pepper
1 Tsp dried ground sage (or whatever medley of herbs you have/like)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup pecans, roasted and roughly chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 Tbsp broth/water/wine
Pierce the acorn squash 6 times with a chef’s knife (make sure you go through to the centre). Put the squash in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes and allow to cool. Cut open the squash and scoop out the seeds and associated stringy-ness. Put a teaspoon of water in each half, and place on a cookie sheet. Tent the squash with aluminium foil, and place them in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes. Check the squash after 30 minutes; see if they are tender when pierced with a knife.
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in coconut oil in a skillet. Salt and pepper the meat, and add the minced garlic about 1/2 way through cooking. Roughly chop roasted pecans, as well as one apple. Once the meat has browned, add the pecans, sage (or other herbs), apple and broth. Cover and simmer for 1 minute.
Scoop the mixture into the roasted squash halves and place in the oven, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.