Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew | ourfourforks.com

Two things inspired me to make this pork and butternut squash stew, one positive one negative. First the good: our organic meat CSA. Josh and I joined a meat CSA in December and if you eat meat, I highly recommend joining one. It’s a great way to support your local farmers, eat quality, healthy meat and escape your culinary comfort zone. Our meat comes from John Crow Farm, a “beyond organic” farm here in Massachusetts. Not only is our meat top quality but it is (relatively) cheap. We get five pounds per month for under $10 per pound, which is cheaper than most organic, grass-fed cuts at our Whole Foods. In any case, this pork shoulder came to us in last month’s share and I wanted to make something other than pulled pork.


Now for the negative: the weather. It’s late March and we’re still waking up to temperatures in the teens in Boston. And as much as I’d love to be making light, spring-inspired meals, I just don’t feel like celebrating a season that isn’t here. I still feel like wearing sweaters so I’ll still make stew.


Now back to being positive: this pork and butternut squash stew is unlike any stew I’ve had before. Full of complex flavor, there is the spicy, savory, and sweet combination that I love. The toasted pumpkin seeds, tangy lime marinated onions and fresh cilantro add a bit of pop, lightness and crunch. A hint of spring on top of a winter dish.


Pork and Butternut Squash Stew | ourfourforks.com WHY IT’S HEALTHY// We outline the importance of buying quality, organic and pastured meat in our post “Why Grass-Fed Meat is Better for Everyone.” Quality pork is a good source of protein, B vitamins and zinc, which is essential for the immune system. Butternut squash is one of the best sources of carotenoids, which is a group of substances that the body converts to vitamin A needed for healthy skin and eyes. One cup of butternut squash exceeds the recommended daily intake of vitamin A for both men and women by about 3 times. Butternut squash also contains antioxidants, minerals, fiber and electrolytes. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of vitamin E, which keeps your cardiovascular system healthy by lowering blood pressure. This stew is relatively low in fat (especially if your pork is healthy), gluten-free and paleo.//


If you’re interested in finding a meat, egg or dairy CSA near you, check out the site Eat Wild. It’s a really fun way to become more connected to your food.


Pork and Butternut Squash Stew | ourfourforks.comPork and Butternut Squash Stew | ourfourforks.com


Pork and Butternut Squash Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A paleo and gluten-free stew with deep spicy, savory, and sweet flavors. Toasted pumpkin seeds, tangy lime marinated onions and fresh cilantro add a bit of pop, lightness and crunch. Adapted from Bon Appétit.
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2” pieces
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 4 dried New Mexico or guajillo chiles
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into ⅛”-thick wedges, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs), peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1” pieces
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • Cilantro sprigs (for serving)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine pork, coriander, half of garlic, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl; season with pepper and toss; Cover and set aside (or allow to chill for 4 hours).
  3. Toast pumpkin seeds and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes and set aside.
  4. Let the chilies cool slightly, then remove stems and seeds, if you prefer less heat. Place chiles, half the yellow onion, remaining garlic, and ¾ cup hot water in a
  5. blender and blend until smooth; set chile purée aside (I used my Vitamix)
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook pork, turning occasionally, until browned, 8–10 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  7. Pour off fat from pot and cook chile purée in pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add pork, oregano, remaining yellow onion, and 6 cups water to pot; season with salt and pepper.
  9. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, skimming occasionally, until pork is very tender, 3–3½ hours.
  10. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil on your butternut squash cubes, season with salt and pepper and roast on a pan for 40 minutes.
  12. When the squash is roasted, add to stewed pork mixture.
  13. Toss red onion and lime juice in a small bow and let sit about 30 minutes.
  14. Serve stew with red onion, cilantro, and reserved pumpkin seeds.


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