Dishing Up the Dirt

Pork, Bean & Winter Squash Stew

This season we didn’t raise pigs on our farm so with our freezer stash from last year’s harvest quickly dwindling as the winter approaches we decided to get a pork share from our friends Camp Fire Farms. We’ve had their pork before and it’s hands down some of the best we’ve ever tasted. These guys do it right and their animal husbandry is something we can get behind. If you live in the Portland area definitely check these guys out. They do local farmers markets and are a complete joy to chat with.  This stew is one of the first things I whipped up with my newly stocked chest freezer of pork. I wanted something simple because I hadn’t planned ahead for a big roast, but we were cold and hungry for something hearty. What I love about ground pork is that it thaws out quickly and is so damn versatile. This stew was a breeze to prepare and is bursting with so many warm and comforting flavors. With the addition of local beans from Sun Gold Farm and Tumbleweed Farm veggies this stew really hit the spot on a cold night here in Parkdale. This stew tastes best with a big old hunk of sourdough bread for dunking and a good dinner date to keep you company.

Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm

Pork, Bean & Winter Squash Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 1 hour    Serves: 6

For the Beans
  • 1/4 pound, dry white beans
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed
For the stew
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 large onion (yellow or red) finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 medium sized winter squash (pumpkin, butternut, acorn, blue Hubbard, etc) cut into 1-inch cubes (no need to peel)
  • 1 14 ounce jar diced tomatoes (with juices)
  • 2 1/2 cups water or low sodium chicken or pork stock + more to thin as needed

Preparation

  1. To make the beans, cover them with cold water and soak for at least 7 hours. Drain the beans, then rinse and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover them with at least an inch of water and add the salt, pepper, bay leaf and garlic. Bring to a boil, give them a stir and lower the heat so the beans are gently simmering. Cook until just tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain the beans, removing the garlic and bay leaf, and set aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven or soup pot cook the pork over moderate heat using a wooden spoon to break up the meat a bit. Cook until lightly browned and no longer pink inside. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pork and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and spices (through the black pepper) and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion and garlic are soft and fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the winter squash cubes and give the whole pot a good stir. Pour in the jarred tomatoes and water or stock. Add the cooked beans and pork, simmer until the squash is tender, about 40 minutes.
  5. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

Notes

*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary


Leave a Reply

2 thoughts on “Pork, Bean & Winter Squash Stew

  1. Leslie says:

    Sounds awesome! Unless I’m missing something, at what point do you add the cooked pork back in the pot without over cooking it?

  2. Robert R Reid says:

    I assume you add the pork back in step 4. Just sayin”…….Love your blog and recipes.

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