It’s finally cooling off here in San Diego, and I am so ready for sweaters, cozy throws, balsam-scented candles and a big bowl of this Pork and Squash Stew.
This is a sponsored post, developed in partnership with the National Pork Board. All thoughts, opinions and recipes are my own.
Soups and stews are my everything during the first weeks of fall, and this one, rich with pork and spices, just warms the soul. The recipe starts with big cubes of pork shoulder sizzling in oil until a golden exterior forms. That seared crust adds major depth of flavor to the stew as it simmers. Next, onion and garlic are cooked until soft, then stirred about with chile power, cumin, coriander and crushed red pepper flakes. Cooking dry spices in the fat really helps to unlock their flavor. Finally, water, salt, pepper and oregano join the pot, and the stew cooks for 6 to 8 hours in a slow cooker. During the last couple of hours, a jumble of sliced and cubed squash are stirred in and cooked until melting. Rich and hearty, the finished stew has a deeply spiced broth (but not too fiery) and the seared pork turns tender and supple.
Toppings are an important addition here, because they add contrast in flavor and texture. Keeping with Mexican flavors, the stew is finished with tangy pickled red onions, crunchy pepitas and grassy leaves of fresh cilantro. You seriously need to give this stew a try. Continue reading for the stew recipe.