This easy slow cooker beef stew is made extra special and festive with the addition of pumpkin purée, and then it's served inside of roasted sugar pumpkins!
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the beef with paprika, salt, and, pepper. Add to the skillet and sear on all sides until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the beef to your slow cooker.
Add the red potatoes, carrots, garlic, onion, mushrooms, beef broth, tomato paste, pumpkin purée, red wine, dried thyme, and bay leaves to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. Once finished cooking, stir in the fresh thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the stew has a 1-2 hours left, roast the pumpkins. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Very carefully carve the tops off of the pumpkins using a very sharp knife or pumpkin carving tools. Scoop out the seeds and "guts" and discard. Rub the outside and inside of the pumpkins, as well as the tops with olive oil and season the inside with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Place pumpkins on baking sheet, cut side up, as well as their tops, and roast for 30 minutes. Flip the pumpkins and roast for an additional 30 minutes or until pumpkins are slightly tender and golden. You still want them to keep their shape!
Serve stew inside of pumpkins and garnish with extra fresh thyme and chopped parsley!