After running around all weekend and not being home for days, I was at home Sunday recuperating from a fun packed long weekend. All the fabulous food from Thanksgiving and wedding events had me itching to whip up something at home. Since the weather changed from summer-like to winter in about a minute, I thought a hearty stew would be perfect. I decided to make one of my favorites, a unusual stew containing pork, butternut squash and root vegetables. It’s super simple and can easily be changed up to use what you have in your fridge.
2 lbs boneless pork, cut into 1 1/2” cubes
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 large butternut squash, cubed
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
2 white potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, sliced into 2 inch chunks
2 sweet apples, unpeeled and cubed
1 jalepeno pepper, diced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
handful of kale, spinach or other greens
8 c. low sodium chicken stock
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 t rosemary, crushed
1/2 t sage
1 bay leaf
1/4 t ground ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
Heat olive oil in heavy pot or dutch oven. Saute onions and brown pork cubes and cook until slightly browned. Deglaze pot with chicken stock and stir in veggies, beans, apples and garlic. Add seasonings and stir well. Cook over medium low heat until meat is tender, approximately 30-40 minutes.
The squash cooks down and thickens the broth. Instead of the squash, you can add a small can of pumpkin puree. While the spices seem like an unlikely match, they combine to create a slightly sweet broth with a lot of flavor. This stew is really forgiving and you can be flexible with what you add. I didn’t have any garbanzo beans so I left them out. I could have very easily substituted black beans or cannellini beans. If I have green onions I normally throw some of those in too. Parsnips are another good addition.
I served this with beer bread but corn bread or a crusty Italian goes well with it too. It tastes even better the next day. Enjoy!