Marrow with Savoury Stuffing

An inexpensive dish, Marrow with Savoury Stuffing makes the ideal winter family meal. Serve with mashed potatoes and Coulis de Tomates Provencale, or any hot tomato sauce.

2 oz. plus

1 tablespoon butter x 3 lb. vegetable marrow medium-sized onions, coarsely chopped

1 large green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 lb. lean beef, finely minced

4 medium-sized tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 small carrots, scraped, cooked and diced

½ teaspoons salt teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs

2 egg yolks, well beaten with

2 fl. oz. single cream

4 oz. Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

With the tablespoon of butter, gen-erously grease a large, oblong baking dish and set it aside.

With a long, sharp knife (a bread knife is ideal), cut the marrow in half lengthways. With a sharp-edged metal spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds, making a cavity in the centre of each marrow half. Place the marrow halves, side by side and cut sides up, in the prepared baking dish and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt 1 ounce of the remaining butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and green pepper and fry, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown.

Add the minced beef and tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring to break up the meat, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it loses its pinkness.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the carrots, salt, pepper and paprika. Set the mixture aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the egg yolks and cream mixture. Stir the mixture into the meat mixture in the pan and combine the stuffing thoroughly.

Pile the stuffing into the cavities of the marrow halves. Lightly pat the stuffing down with the back of a spoon so that the centres are domed slightly.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the stuffing. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and dot them over the cheese.

Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the marrow is very tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife, and the filling is well browned.

Remove the marrow from the oven and serve immediately, straight from the dish.

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