Lakȟóta Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin a.k.a. Wagmú Skúye Opúgituŋ



Cut the top from the pumpkin, removing the seeds and strings. Prick the inside of the pumpkin with a fork all over the cavity. Rub the cavity of the pumpkin with a teaspoon of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground mustard seed.

In a large skillet, fry enough bacon to make 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat. Remove the bacon and sauté the meat with the onions and peppers over medium heat. Remove the skillet from heat when the meat is browned.

Steam the white rice and the wild rice, and then set aside to cool. When the ingredients have cooled, mix the rice into the meat mixture. Add the crumbled bacon at this point. Beat the eggs and stir them into the meat and rice mixture. Season with the salt, black pepper, and sage. If available, add diced fresh or powdered prairie turnips for added traditional Lakȟóta flavor, cranberries too. Stuff the cavity of the pumpkin. Replace the top on the pumpkin.

Place the stuffed pumpkin in a baking pan with 1⁄2 inch of water. Bake in the oven for 1 1⁄2 hours at 350 degrees or until the pumpkin is tender. Add more water to the baking pan as necessary to prevent the pumpkin from sticking or drying out.

The Lakȟóta Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin may be served whole and the contents scooped out at the table, or it may be sliced as you would a pie or cake, serving individual slices on plates. The stuffing and the flesh of the pumpkin are eaten, but not the rind. This stuffing may also be used to stuff smaller pumpkins and squashes, tomatoes, or bell peppers. Of course, you will need to adjust the cooking time. You may also use this recipe to make a casserole. Simply spread out a layer of mashed pumpkin in a greased baking dish, and then top with the stuffing mixture. One hour in the oven will be sufficient in this case.

There is another way that the stuffed sugar pumpkin is prepared, and this is known as the three sisters pumpkin. In this case, the three sisters (corn, beans, and squash) are combined with the other ingredients listed above. This is a recipe, in many versions, which may be found all over North America, among many Native Peoples, wherever pumpkins were traditionally grown. If pumpkins are not available, or even if they are, this recipe may be prepared with all the ingredients, or your favorite combination, as a casserole and baked in the oven as a side dish with a turkey, goose or ham. It is especially good with gravy or with cranberry sauce.

Source: "Lakota and Kiowa Recipes"