Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot

Dulce de leche with whisk

Dulce de Leche is a delicious and versatile spread, but it can take FOREVER to make! This Dulce de Leche in an Instant Pot cuts your cook time in a quarter, allowing you to make this sweet concoction easily in your own home! Keep reading for instructions and best practices of how to make Dulce de Leche in an Instant Pot.

What Country Invented Dulce de Leche? 

You read my article about Alfajores (Argentinian Shortbread and Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies), you’ll know that I’ve been trying to learn how to make my own Dulce de Leche for quite some time. 

Dulce de Leche is a caramel-like substance that was invented in Argentina. Quite frankly, I don’t know why it’s not eaten more here in America. This stuff is delicious!!!

Brazo de Reina with Brazo de Reina

Deciding to Make Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot

Normally to make Dulce de Leche, you must put the pot on the stove and boil it for hours upon hours. It takes a long watch and a careful eye to get homemade Dulce de Leche right. 

That is… until the Instant Pot came along. Now, if you really want to feel like you’re making your dessert from scratch, it is so much easier. Instead of three hours watching over your stove, Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot takes 40 minutes with no hovering necessary! 

What is the Difference Between Caramel and Dulce de Leche?

Caramel and Dulce de Leche are very similar, but the ingredients within them vary slightly. Sugar, butter, water, and cream combine to make caramel. In contrast, Dulce de Leche is made with sweetened condensed milk. 

Both are sweet, sugary concoctions that are delicious on ice cream, cakes, and cookies. However, dulce de leche tends to have a thicker consistency and a darker color. It’s sometimes so thick that it can spread like a peanut butter consistency. 

Pumpkin Pie made wtih Dulce de Leche from the Instant Pot

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make this Recipe? 

To make this recipe for dulce de leche, all you’ll need is a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk and some water. That’s it! 

Some recipes call for vanilla or baking powder. The baking powder seemed like a fantastic idea, because the article boasted that it would make the dulce de leche both darker and thicker at a faster rate. 

Unfortunately, when I tried this method in my Instant Pot, I opened the pot after 40 minutes to find that the scene of a mild explosion. The contents of the can had poured out into the water. 

After that experience, I decided that sometimes, the best option is to K.I.S.S. or “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” 😉 

Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot in a can

How to Make Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot

To make your Dulce de Leche in an Instant Pot, you’re going to need your ingredients, aluminum foil, and the Instant Pot trivet. 

To start, remove the paper label from the outside of your can and then use a can opener to open it. Discard the top. Next, rip off a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap it tightly around the entire can, covering the top and bottom of the open can. This step is vital, as you want to make sure that none of your dulce de leche can boil out of the can. 

Place the trivet in your Instant Pot, and fill it up with enough water to cover about half the can. The amount of water will depend on the size of your Instant Pot, but for me it took about 10 cups of water. 

Place the lid on your Instant Pot and then set the pressure to Manual High for 40 minutes. This leaves a lightly colored Dulce de Leche. If you want a thicker or darker Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot, you can increase the cook time. 

If you open your aluminum foil and your Dulce de Leche isn’t as dark as you’d like, simply rewrap the can and place it back in the pot. Seal it again, and turn the pressure on for longer. I would recommend increments of 10 if cooking it for longer. 

How to Enjoy this Recipe

Hmmm… can my answer be “everything”? 

Dulce de Leche is such a delicious spread, that I want to use it on everything! You can dip fruit or crackers in it. You can spread it on pancakes or even cookies! Basically, use this Dulce de Leche on whatever you want. 

But can I give you some suggestions? If you want to use homemade dulce de leche, here are some great options: 

Did you like this recipe for Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot? I had such a good time testing it for you! If you make this recipe, don’t forget to post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork. I can’t wait to see your finished product!

Dulce de Leche in an Instant Pot.

Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot

Dulce de Leche is a delicious and versatile spread, but it can take FOREVER to make! This Dulce de Leche in an Instant Pot cuts your cook time in a quarter, allowing you to make this sweet concoction easily in your own home! Keep reading for instructions and best practices of how to make Dulce de Leche in an Instant Pot.

Course Dessert, spreads
Cuisine argentinian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  1. To start, remove the paper label from the outside of your can and then use a can opener to open it. Discard the lid. Next, rip off a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap it tightly around the open can, covering the top and bottom. This step is vital, as you want to make sure that none of your dulce de leche can boil out of the can.

  2. Place the trivet in your Instant Pot, and fill it up with enough water to cover about half the can. The amount of water will depend on the size of your Instant Pot, but for me it took about 10 cups of water.

  3. Place the lid on your Instant Pot and then set the pressure to Manual High for 40 minutes. This leaves a lightly colored Dulce de Leche. If you want a thicker or darker Dulce de Leche in the Instant Pot, you can increase the cook time. Perform an Instant release when the time is up.

  4. If you open your aluminum foil and your Dulce de Leche isn’t as dark as you’d like, simply rewrap the can and place it back in the pot. Seal it again, and turn the pressure on for longer. I would recommend increments of 10 if cooking it for longer.

  5. Note: If your dulce de leche comes out of the aluminum foil looking lumpy or curdled, this is NORMAL. Put it in a bowl and whisk it and it will smooth out!

    ANOTHER NOTE: Your dulce de leche will thicken as it cools. As long as it reaches your desired color, put it in the fridge and it will start to thicken. It will thin out when heated up again 🙂

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Argentinian Alfajores: Inspiration in Barcelona

Argentinian Alfajores

It’s 7:00 at night in the common room of my hostel in Barcelona, Spain. The sun is setting right outside of the double glass doors leading to the mosaic-tiled patio. Outside, the tree branches hug the large windows, so looking out to the street is like looking through an emerald picture frame. A golden sunshine reaches the corner of the room, bouncing off of a bookshelf that’s overflowing with dogeared guidebooks and weathered classics.

I’m sitting cross-legged on a couch that has no legs. The cushions are piled against the floor, pillows propped up against the wall. I’m surrounded by pens, postcards, markers; on my lap sits an abandoned, thick, leather-bound journal, begging me use its pages to recount my flight into a new city that day. Across from me sits a man, probably in his late twenties, wearing cropped jeans and a red t-shirt.

My face is twisted into what is probably a comical expression. One side of my mouth turns up in a smile; but my eyes tell a different story, wincing as I try to find words that don’t exist in my brain. We’ve been conversing for an hour now, entirely in Spanish. I’ve practiced Spanish for about 8 years, but this conversation has proven arduous. You don’t know what you don’t know about a language until you try to speak to a local.

Alfajores with Stacked Bowls

I’ve been limping through the conversation, throwing in an exasperated string of English here and there when the circumlocution technique of language learning becomes too difficult. Our conversation is in Spanish simply because that’s what I’ve requested. Every time this man slips into English for my ease– which he speaks fluently–I request that he transition back to Spanish again. I’m practicing, and I need to learn.

At this point in my journey, it’s the end of May. There’s only three people on planet Earth that know I’m planning to cook a meal from every country in the world: myself, a close friend, and now… this stranger. He’s from Argentina, and he tells me about his life at home and where he comes from. When he does, I find myself so excited that the words about my plan start falling from my mouth. I’m asking about his country, about his home, and, of course, about his favorite recipes.

When I ask this final question, his eyes widen. He uses his arms to prop himself up on the edge of his seat.

“When you cook Argentina, there’s one thing you HAVE to make,” he says in Spanish. “Argentinians love dulce de leche, but we use it to make probably the best dessert in the world.”

Dulce de leche in glass jar

He names the dessert, and I open up my iPhone, tap the “Notes” app, and type the word “alfajores”. He goes on to describe the dessert, which is made by sandwiching two cookies together with a dulce de leche center. They are sweet and indulgent and a favorite amongst the country.

I’ve been looking forward to Argentina week since that moment. It was the first recommendation that I ever received about a local’s favorite dish. For months after receiving that recommendation, I would open my phone often just to stare it. Seeing the joy in this stranger’s face as he described his “taste of home” crystallized for me the value of this project. Bringing cheer and solace to those around the world as they are able to share their culture and their home with others. That’s what this project is about.

So without further ado… the alfajores recipe that solidified the Foreign Fork journey. I hope you find as much joy in making them as I did in discovering them.  

Alfajores

An Argentinian recipe made by sandwiching two shortbread cookies together with a dulce de leche filling. They can be rolled in coconut, topped with powdered sugar, or simply enjoyed as is. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 36 cookie sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups 200g/7 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/8 cups 300g/10.5 oz. cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 sticks 200g/7 oz. unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 150g/5.3 oz. granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups dulce de leche, for filling
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded or desiccated coconut for rolling optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract just until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Do not overmix or the cookies will turn out tough.

  3. Form the dough into a ball, then flatten slightly to form a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until firm enough to roll.
  4. If you don’t want to use the dough right away, you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to a month, then thaw it overnight in the fridge.
  5. The dough is going to look like sand... this is normal. You will know that your dough is not too dry when you can squeeze a handful of dough in your palm and it retains its shape. 

  6. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a lightly floured surface (or between 2 pieces of parchment paper), roll the dough to a 1/8 or 1/4-inch (3-5mm) thickness. Cut out into rounds using a 2-inch (5cm) fluted or round cookie cutter, and place the cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. You may need to add a bit of water to the dough to ensure that it sticks to itself when rolling. ONLY add enough water to make the dough combine. Do not add too much or your cookies will lose their shape in the oven.

  7. If at any point the dough becomes too warm, place it back into the fridge for a few minutes. Re-roll the remaining scraps and repeat. Place sheets with cookies in the freezer or fridge for at least 15 minutes, until firm, so that they will be less prone to spreading.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies appear golden brown at the edges (mine took about 15 minutes). Allow cookies to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Spread the bottom half of the cookies with dulce de leche (about a teaspoon). Sandwich together with remaining cookies, pressing slightly so that the caramel oozes out the sides. If desired, roll the sides in shredded coconut.

  10. Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave on the counter, still covered, or overnight in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Pretty. Simple. Sweet.

Argentinian Chimichurri Recipe

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is a savory Argentinian sauce made from parsley, olive oil, garlic, and, in the case of this recipe, carrots! It can be used as a marinade for meats, dressing on potatoes, or sauce on a sandwich.

I absolutely loved making this Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce. It was so easy to throw together and it was so tasty! Plus, it opened the doors to be able to make so many more delicious foods from Southern and Central America.

This chimichurri recipe is refreshing and delicious! The parsley in this recipe gives a nice, fresh taste and feel to any of the dishes that you make!

What is Chimichurri Sauce Made Of?

Parsley
Carrot
Garlic
Water
Oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
White vinegar
Kosher salt
Pepper

How to Make Argentinian Chimichurri

Add all ingredients except olive oil to the blender and course briefly.

Put blender on constant speed and add oil in a thin stream until fully combined.

Put chimichurri in a jar and chill in the fridge… When the olive oil heats up during blending, it will have a much stronger taste than normal. As the oil cools, the flavor will relax and becomes more desirable.

Remove chimichurri from fridge to thaw before using.

What is the Difference Between Pesto, Salsa Verde, and Chimichurri?

I understand where this question comes from, but there’s actually quite a significant difference between the three!

All three sauces, Pesto, Salsa Verde, and Argentinian Chimichurri, are green sauces made with fresh herbs or vegetables.

Pesto originated in Italy and sports a base of basil blended with olive oil. In contrast to Argentinian chimichurri, pesto also has pine nuts or walnuts blended into the sauce to thicken it up.

To make salsa verde, a Mexican sauce, you blend green tomatoes with cilantro and serrano peppers.

Parsley makes up the base of Argentinian Chimichurri. This recipe also has carrots blended up into the mixture to thicken the sauce!

You can make all three sauces very easily by simply pulsing them in the blender.

What Foods Go Well with Argentinian Chimichurri?

Chimichurri is the perfect sauce to add some flavoring to any Central or South American food!

There are plenty of ways to use your Argentinian chimichurri, including with Beef Empanadas, Churrasco Steak Sandwiches from Chile, or even these Grilled Vegetables with Chimichurri Sauce.

What Does Chimichurri Taste Like?

The herbs, like parsley and oregano, in this recipe give it a fresh taste. Some people say that it taste vaguely reminiscent of grass (but in a good way, I promise!).

If you make this recipe at home, post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork. Don’t forget to also leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought!

If you liked this recipe, make sure to check out the other recipes on my site that you I think you’ll like just as much:

Argentinian Chimichurri

An Argentinian sauce made from parsley, olive oil, garlic, and vinegar. The flavors in this recipe are amplified by the addition of carrot as well!
Course dressings, Sauces
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of parsley stems removed
  • 1/4 cup carrot grated or shredded
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tbsp white vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except olive oil to the blender and course briefly.
  2. Put blender on constant speed and add oil in a thin stream until fully combined.
  3. Put chimichurri in a jar and chill in the fridge… When the olive oil heats up during blending, it will have a much stronger taste than normal. As the oil cools, the flavor will relax and becomes more desirable.
  4. Remove chimichurri from fridge to thaw before using.

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For personal or educational use only.

Beef Empanada Recipe from Argentina

Beef Empanada Recipe

This Beef Empanada Recipe features a savory puff pastry filled with ground beef, onions, spices and hard-boiled eggs. Baked in the oven and brushed with egg for a beautiful shine, they are a gorgeous and delicious meal to share!

As a native to Michigan, I’m a huge fan of Michigan pasties. Pasties are pockets of dough that are most-often filled with meat, potatoes, and vegetables and then doused in gravy. The shape and design of the pasty makes it easy to carry around and eat on the go. This Michigan speciality is very popular in the Upper Peninsula of the mitten state and is my very favorite treat when I go to the UP.

Perhaps my love for pasties was how I knew I was going to enjoy this Beef Empanada Recipe so much. Truthfully, pasties and empanadas aren’t too distant from one another. Of course the spices and the accompanying sauces differ, but otherwise the two dishes are very similar. And they are both AMAZING.

What Ingredients are In This Recipe for Beef Empanadas?

Puff pastry sheets
Onion 
Garlic 
Scallions 
Cayenne pepper
Paprika
Cumin
Ground beef
3 hard boiled eggs sliced into thin strips
Egg yolk
Salt and pepper

How Do You Make Beef Empanadas from Scratch?

Thaw the puff pastry as instructed on the box.

Sauté onion, garlic and scallions in a saucepan. 

In a small bowl, mix all spices and about 3 tsp of water to make a paste. 

Add the paste to the onions and sauté to evaporate the liquid.

Add meat and stir to cook through. Strain when complete. Refrigerate filling for two hours.

Use a glass or a cookie cutter to cut circles in the puff pastry. Place a spoonful of filling in each circle. Add a piece of egg. 

Use water to wet the edges of the dough. Fold it in half and crimp to seal. Brush each empanada with egg yolk for a smooth shine after baking. 

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, and increasing the time incrementally until empanadas are golden brown. Enjoy! 

Is this Beef Empanada Dough the Same as Pie Crust?

This dish gave me a troubling start, as I initially wanted to make the pastry from scratch. This unfortunate experiment ended with a lot of kneading and some awful dough that was too dry to even form into the pastry base. Multiple attempts later, I still couldn’t perfect a dough I was supremely happy with.

After a third pursuit and too many minutes of kneading, I dumped my final batch of dough into the garbage.

“To hell with it!” I thought. “I’m simplifying this dish right now.”

I drove to the store and bought a brand new box of frozen puff pastry sheets. No, this may not be the most traditional way to make my Beef Empanada Recipe, but it did the job. And it did the job WELL, if you ask me.

No, the dough for a true Beef Empanada Recipe is not the same as pie dough or puff pastry sheets. However, you can substitute these things if necessary and they will work just fine!

Is it Better to Bake or Fry Empanadas?

Baking or frying your empanadas are both great options. This recipe specifically bakes the beef empanadas because it uses puff pastry sheets instead of empanada though.

For this recipe, it is recommended to bake the empanadas instead of fry them. This better allows the puff pastry sheets to rise and create the desired effect.

Baking normal empanada dough leaves it more flaky and doughy. Frying the dough makes it crunchy and crispy!

If you are using a different type of dough instead and you want to fry your empanadas, that is totally an option as well!

Do you Eat Empanadas with Your Hands?

Yes! The best way to eat empanadas is with your hands, something that my friends at The World in a Pocket know a lot about.

Empanadas are NEVER eaten with a fork and a knife. You always hold the empanadas in your hand, eating from the corners and working your way out. This article about the 3 best ways to eat empanadas made me giggle.

What Countries Make Empanadas?

Though I made this Beef Empanada Recipe while cooking from Argentina, Argentina is certainly not the only country that’s known for making these delicious treats!

Other countries that make Empanadas include Bolivia, Paraguay, Portugal, Chile, Venezuela, and Colombia.

Wherever you eat Empanadas from, I’m sure you’re going to love them! And if you make them at home, don’t forget to top them with this delicious Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce!

Did you like this Beef Empanada Recipe? If so, make sure to leave a comment letting me know what you thought! And don’t forget to share a photo of your creation on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork.

Beef Empanadas Recipe

This Beef Empanadas Recipe features a savory puff pastry filled with meat, onions, and hard-boiled eggs. Baked in the oven and brushed with egg for a beautiful shine, they are a gorgeous and delicious meal to share! 

Course dinner
Cuisine argentina
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Servings 16 empanadas

Ingredients

  • 1 box freezer puff pastry sheets thawed according to package instructions
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Thaw the puff pastry as instructed on the box.
  2. Sauté onion, garlic and scallions in a saucepan.
  3. In a small bowl, mix all spices and about 3 tsp of water to make a paste.
  4. Add the paste to the onions and sauté to evaporate the liquid.
  5. Add meat and stir to cook through. Strain when complete. Refrigerate filling for two hours.
  6. Use a glass or a cookie cutter to cut circles in the puff pastry. Place a spoonful of filling in each circle. Add a piece of egg.
  7. Use water to wet the edges of the dough. Fold it in half and crimp to seal. Brush each empanada with egg yolk for a smooth shine after baking.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, and increasing the time incrementally until empanadas are golden brown. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Best when served with Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce. 

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only. 

Argentinian Dulce de Leche

Dulce de leche in glass jar

Dulce de Leche

Dulce de Leche, an Argentinian specialty, is a milk-based caramel. It can be eaten alone with a spoon, drizzled over ice cream, spread on toast in the morning, or even sandwiched between cookies! 

Course Dessert
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Stir together milk, sugar, and baking soda in a larger pot than you think is necessary. 

  2. Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer on the stove for about 1.75 hours. Make sure to stir so that it does not burn, especially as you near the end.

  3. After the dulce de leche is smooth, thick, and creamy, remove from heat. 

  4. Stir in the vanilla. 

  5. Cool before enjoying! 

Recipe Notes

Recipe from epicurious

Carbonada e Zapallo (Argentinian Beef Stew in a Roasted Pumpkin Shell)

Pinterest image. Beef stew in a roasted pumpkin Shell

Carbonada e Zapallo is a type of beef stew made with vegetables, dried fruit, potatoes, and spices and served in the shell of a roasted pumpkin. The beef stew and the pumpkin are cooked separately but put together for presentation and serving.

Go Big or Go Home

My family is filled with “go big or go home” type of people. If my parents, my brother or myself do something, we either do it right, or we don’t do it at all. It’s exhausting and rewarding and stressful and amazing. It’s both a blessing and a curse, really.

too tall pumpkin
Too tall!

This method definitely transfers itself to holidays… For the first fifteen years of my life, the neighborhood called my dad “Mr. Griswald” at Christmas. Our house was covered in lights from top to bottom, and Papa Foreign Fork would climb a 40 foot ladder to make sure that there were even lights at the very peak of the house. One year he decided that he was sick of putting lights up, and we never had them again. See? Go big or go home.

too squat pumpkin
Too squat– and damaged!

Go Big or Go Home: Halloween Edition

WELL. During halloween growing up, this thought process was present full-force. My family and I would go to the pumpkin patch each year and spend an hour searching for the BIGGEST. PUMPKINS. POSSIBLE. We wouldn’t leave until we had found the most obnoxious, gigantic pumpkins in the patch. For the rest of the night, my brother and I would find ourselves shoulder deep in our treasures, scooping out enough pumpkin seeds to feed us for a week.

I’m still a “go big or go home” person. I mean, I’m cooking a meal from every country in the world for crying out loud!

just right pumpkin
Juuuust right!

Searching for the Perfect Pumpkin Pot 

But the recipe for this Argentinian carbonada (beef stew) called for much different pumpkin-searching skills. I wasn’t just looking for the biggest pumpkin; I was looking for the perfect pumpkin. And this time it had to be perfect enough to serve as a pot for beef stew! After twenty minutes searching, finally, I found it. The perfect pumpkin was not too big, and not too small. It was deep enough to hold beef stew, but not so deep that my ladle couldn’t reach the bottom. I heaved that pumpkin up to the makeshift checkout counter and bought it. Then I spent the rest of the night shoulder deep in my treasure, scooping out enough pumpkin seeds to feed me for a week.

Carbonada e Zapallo in Square Bowl

Once the pumpkin and the beef stew are cooked separately, the stew is poured into the pumpkin shell. For every bowl you serve, make sure to use the serving spoon to scrape some pumpkin into your bowl as well. If you do not want to serve the soup in a pumpkin bowl, you can also just make the soup on the stove and serve it without the pumpkin addition.

This beef stew is such a great food to make for this autumn time of year! The smell of roasting pumpkin in the oven and the steam of a big, hearty bowl of delicious soup made this the perfect fall comfort food. As the weather gets chillier and that spooky time of year grows closer, you might find yourself at the pumpkin patch. If you do, make sure to pick up an extra one. Then, go home and experiment with this recipe! I promise it’s fun. Enjoy!

Argentina Carbonada e Zapallo

Argentinian Carbonada e Zapallo (Beef stew in a Roasted Pumpkin Shell)

Carbonada e Zapallo is a type of stew made with beef, vegetables, dried fruit, and spices and served in the shell of a roasted pumpkin. The stew and the pumpkin are cooked separately but put together for presentation and serving.

Course dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium pumpkin about 13 lb
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 lb beef cubed
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 sweet potato cubed
  • 2 Idaho potatoes cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes drained
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup dried apricots chopped
  • 4 cobs corn cut into thirds
  • 6 cups water

Instructions

Roasted Pumpkin Shell

  1. Cut the lid off of the pumpkin and scoop out the insides, including seeds. Try to cut the lid on an inward angle so that the top will stay secure on the pumpkin after cooking

  2. Drizzle olive oil over the inside of the pumpkin and season with kosher salt and pepper. 

  3. Coat a baking sheet with butter. Place the lid back on the pumpkin and put on the buttered baking sheet. 

  4. Roast pumpkin for about 50-60 minutes. The pumpkin should be soft and a little darker in color, but it should still be holding it's shape. If you cook it too long, the bottom will fall out... avoid this! 

Soup

  1. Heat oil in a large pot, and roast the garlic and onions until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. 

  2. Add beef and pepper and sautee until tender. 

  3. Add the spices, sweet potatoes, idaho potatoes, tomatoes, apricots, stock, and water. If more water is needed to cover the ingredients, add more. Season with salt and pepper. 

  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce down to a simmer and continue to simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork. 


  5. Add the corn (optional) and cook for another 4 minutes. 

  6. Fill the pumpkin with the soup and serve immediately. Make sure to scrape some pumpkin into each serving!

Recipe Notes

The corn on the cob is optional. I personally did not enjoy it in the soup. 

Recipe adapted from AtoZ World Travel.