Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When the Butternut Met the Stew

It's that wonderful time of year when the butternut squash is plentiful.  Most people either love it or hate it.  Although it is pretty good baked then mashed with butter and salt, and used as a side dish, this is a great way to make it into a one pot meal.  One of the best features of this recipe is that it can be prepped in under 20 minutes!  After which time you can put it into the fridge to be cooked later or straight into the oven.  Keep in mind however that it takes about 2 hours in the oven.  Have fun!     

Hearty Butternut Squash and Pork Stew

1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
1.5 to 2 lbs pork shoulder roast trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1 inch thick rounds
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 habanero pepper, minced and seeds removed (or keep if you like it hot)
3 cups of chicken broth
1.5 cups coconut milk, divided
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2.  Put butternut squash, carrots, pork shoulder, onions, rosemary, garlic, habanero pepper, and spices into a large bowl.  Stir to distribute spices evenly.  Spread evenly into a 9x13 casserole dish.  Mix 1 cup of coconut milk with the chicken broth and pour into casserole dish or dutch oven.  Cover tightly and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours. 

3.  Remove stew from oven.  Pour or spoon stew into a large strainer over a large bowl separating the liquid from the solids.  Pour the liquid into a blender and add about 1.5 cups of the butternut squash and carrot pieces.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  If you have an immersion blender, you can simply blend in the bowl.  Return the stew into the casserole dish and serve. 

I would love to hear your comments.  I know my fellow foodies out there always have their wheels turning on how to make recipes better or put little twists on them. 

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