This is the season for marrows. They have very little flavour on their own but are excellent vehicles for savoury mixtures and absorb their flavour. My family always expected a stuffed marrow to appear at this time of year, the favourite was a bolognese style filling. The amount of mixture will depend on the size of the marrow, but make plenty as it can be served along side. You will need a baking tin or dish big enough to hold two halves of the marrow.
- Bolognese filling - for a small/medium marrow
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 225g (8oz) beef mince
- 1 carrot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 heaped tablespoon flour
- 300ml (1/2 pt) beef stock (cube is fine)
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
- 50g (2oz) button mushrooms
- tomato slices to garnish
- chopped parsley - optional
- 1 marrow
- 1 tablespoon oil
Mince mixture: chop the onion finely, put into a pan with the oil and soften slightly, add the mince , stir well and allow to change colour. Finely chop the carrot and celery, crush the garlic. add all to the pan. Stir in the flour over the heat. Mix in the stock and tomato purée, put on the lid and simmer for at least three quarters of an hour. stirring occasionally.
Heat the oven to Gas 5 / 190C. Wash the marrow and peel it. Cut it in half along its length and scoop out all the seeds with a large metal spoon. Rub with oil and sprinkle with salt. Put into the baking tin, cover with foil and cook for 15 minutes or more if it is large.
Taste the mince for seasoning, add the quartered mushrooms and mixed herbs. Fill the marrow halves. Reserve any excess to serve with the marrow later.
Cover with foil and bake for approximately 1 hour or until the marrow feels soft when pierced with a pointed knife. Just before the end of the cooking lay tomato slices along the top.
Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley if available.