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.