Dishing Up the Dirt

Harvest Pork & Cider Stew

This simple stew celebrates the flavors of the season. Pork and apples are a natural match in the autumn months and when paired with the first of the season’s pumpkins and parsnips it doesn’t get heartier or more delicious than this stew. The ingredients for this recipe should be easy enough to find at your local farmers market or grocery store this time of year. And if you’re lucky enough to live in hard cider country, swing by a local tasting room and pick up a growler to use for this stew. You’ll need a pint for the actual recipe and then the rest you can sip with your dinner guests. This meal tastes best with a big hunk of sourdough bread for dunking and good company to share with.

Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm

Harvest Pork & Cider Stew

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 45 minutes    Serves: 6

  • 1.5 pounds of ground pork
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon style mustard
  • 1 large parsnip, or two smaller ones, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup worth)
  • 1.5 pounds pumpkin or butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1- inch chunks (no need to peel)
  • 2.5 cups water (or low sodium chicken stock)
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle dry hard apple cider (make sure to use a dry cider as you don't want a sweet one!)
  • 1 large granny smith (or another slightly tart apple), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
  • A few fresh sage leaves for garnish


  1. 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.
  2. Add the onion, sage, salt and pepper to the leftover pork fat (if there isn’t enough fat leftover add a touch of oil or butter to the pan) and cook until the onion is translucent and fragrant. About 6 minutes. Stir in the mustard, parsnips and pumpkin; cook for 1 minute longer. Add the water (or stock) and cider. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes or until the parsnips and pumpkin are slightly tender but not falling apart.
  3. Add the apple and cooked sausage and continue to cook until the vegetables are completely tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle in the fresh sage leaves and additional salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for about 5 minutes longer to let the flavors meld together. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.


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

Leave a Reply

4 thoughts on “Harvest Pork & Cider Stew

  1. Melissa Sanborn says:

    When does the pork sausage get added back in?

  2. Cheryl says:

    Silly question, but by hard cider do you mean alcohol? Is there a nonalcoholic substitute? Thanks!

    1. Andrea says:

      5 days in the fridge. I haven’t tried freezing this so I’m not sure. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Sue Kusch says:

    Absolutely delicious! I subbed sweet potato for the parsnip and added an extra apple. Sharing!

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