Hearty Pork & Pumpkin Stew
The snow has arrived. All 12+ inches of it. Its cold, I don’t want to go outside, and my gut wants stew. Slow-cooking season is officially here, so while waiting for Scott to get home from Delaware I decided to cook up a nice hearty dinner for us from my favorite cook book, Braises and Stews. This recipe was perfect. It only required me to purchase 3 new ingredients from the supermarket, and its so thick and filling while still being very healthy. The catch is that as the butternut squash softens it mixes into the stew and thickens it, without the addition of flour or other thickeners. To limit the amount of purchases, I substituted the lima beans for peas, since I already had some in the freezer.
Harvest Porkk Stew with Pumpkin (adapted from Tori Ritchie’s Braises and Stews)
- 2 lbs Pork Stew (from shoulder), trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 TBSP paprika
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 can (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I was able to find pre-cut squash at the supermarket)
- 1 cup frozen lima beans (or peas)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar or Louisiana Hot Sauce
Cut the meat into 2-inch pieces and pat dry with paper towels (do not rinse). Spread meat on large piece of waxed paper. In a small bowl, combine the flour, paprika, a generous pinch of salt, and several grindings of black pepper. Sprinkle mixture over the meat and toss to coat. Place meat in a colander and shake to remove excess flour.
Coat the bottom of a 5- to 7-quart dutch oven with a thin film of vegetable oil and set over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add enough meat to cover bottom in 1 layer. Cook, without stirring, until meat lifts easily from pot with tongs and is well browned on bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer meat to a plate and continue with remaining meat, adding more oil to pot between batches if needed.
When last batch of meat has been removed, add the onion and 1/2 cup water to pot, stirring to release browned bits. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, and bay leaf and let come to a boil. Return meat to pot with accumulated juices, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.
After meat has cooked 1 hour, add pumpkin or squash to pot. Let come to a boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes more. Stir in the frozen vegetables and simmer for about 10 minutes more. Stir in vinegar or hot sauce, turn off heat and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.