Pumpkin Rice Dressing - Featured

Pumpkin Rice Dressing

I’m learning these days that sometimes you just have to set an intention for something that you desire and then jump, blindly, feet first into the thick of it. You won’t always know the outcome, and everything won’t always look perfect or be perfect, but that’s ok. The world keeps moving even with all of these imperfect humans walking around on it.

Pumpkin Rice Dressing – Mise en Place
Mise en Place

As a matter of fact, in some ways it’s a better place because we aren’t all perfect. Dr. Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly (2012), The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), and Rising Strong (2015), urges us all to change our mentality about showing up in the world as a vulnerable, imperfect human. She argues that being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength.

Pumpkin Rice Dressing – Persillade with Gruyere
Persillade with Gruyere cheese.

This is a way of living that I can buy in to. Dr. Brown says, “…there is no effort without error and shortcoming.” To think the opposite, as I did for many many years, is to add so much pressure to your already whistling pressure cooker of life. That fear of failure was enough to cause me to put the breaks on my life on so many different occasions because it was easier to just stay in something comfortable that I know I can succeed in most of the time.

Pumpkin Rice Dressing - Beef Sauce
Simmering beef sauce.

The reality is I’m human, at some point the plates are going to fall, so I might as well do this life thing big if I know that failure is part of the game, right? In fact, it’s not only part of the game, it’s is a required step on the way to success (whatever I decide that looks like). If I don’t fail at least once at something I’m passionate about or working through then I’m not being challenged, and if I’m not being challenged then I’m not learning and growing.

Pumpkin Rice Dressing – Ground Beef and Ground Pork
Sear beef and pork until browned.

Look people, believe it or not, these recipes that I submit for your viewing and eating entertainment have been tested many many times because they are never ever exactly what I want them to be the first time they are cooked. For that matter, they usually aren’t a complete picture of perfection when I finally do accept them for what they are and post them.  If one requirement of this site were to only publish perfection then there wouldn’t be any posts because I would never achieve the goal of writing a perfect recipe.

Pumpkin Rice Dressing – Persillade
Sprinkle persillade over cooked rice dressing then brown under broiler.

My hope is that maybe other people struggling with a desire to be “Pinterest Perfect” or a fear of failure that’s halting your life, maybe those folks might see my imperfection and vulnerability and feel inspired to show their imperfection. Honestly, the only reason I’m able to is because I have role models in my life these days who put it all out there and show up exactly as they are whether it’s hitting a funky note while singing a song at church or building a sketchy bird house as their first wood working project. The point is they’re out there and they’re doing it. These are my people and I love them for their imperfections because they allow me to show mine.

Pumpkin Rice Dressing is perfect to bring to a Thanksgiving pot luck!
Pumpkin Rice Dressing is perfect to bring to a Thanksgiving pot luck!
Pumpkin Rice Dressing

Pumpkin Rice Dressing

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes

  • 2 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1/2 C Panko breadcrumb
  • 1 Tbs. Italian parsley, finely minced
  • 1/2 C Gruyere Cheese, shredded
  • 1 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Tsp. Cumin, divided
  • 1 Tsp. Kosher salt, divided
  • 1 Tsp. Fresh cracked black pepper, divided
  • 1 C. Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 C. Celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp. Garlic clove, minced
  • 3 C. Roasted Pumpkin, chopped
  • 2 C. Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbs. Brown roux
  • 2 Egg, whisked
  • 2 Tsp. Whole Grain Mustard
  • 2 C. Water
  • 1 C. Jasmine rice, uncooked
  • 1 Tbs. Fresh Oregano, finely minced
  • 1 Tbs. Fresh Thyme, finely minced
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13” baking dish with butter.
  2. Combine melted butter, breadcrumb, parsley, and gruyere cheese in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pan or cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Brown pork and beef in batches to ensure good caramelization. Season each batch with half each salt, pepper, and cumin. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat from pan and move to a large mixing bowl. Pour off all but 1 tbs of fat from the pan.
  4. In the same pan saute the onion, celery, and garlic over medium-high heat until tender. Add pumpkin and saute to create a brown crust. Add sauted vegetables to the mixing bowl with the meat.
  5. Meanwhile, heat beef stock to simmer in a sauce pot. Whisk in cold roux (avoid lumps by whisking on extreme temperature into the other. i.e. cold roux into simmering stock). Bring stock back to a simmer and reduce by half (about 1/2 C.). Move beef sauce to a bowl and quickly whisk in egg to temper, then whisk in mustard.
  6. Add beef sauce, water, rice, oregano, thyme, cayenne, and remaining salt and pepper to the beef and vegetable mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  7. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes or until rice is cooked. Remove foil and top with breadcrumb mixture (a.k.a. persillade). Place under the broiler until cheese melts and breadcrumb is golden brown.

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