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Make Ahead Monday: Pork Stew with Indian Flavors

It’s Monday, y’all!  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a fun, relaxing holiday weekend.  And since it is Monday, that can only mean one thing – yes, it is time for  Make Ahead Monday!

Nope, I still haven’t figured out the “cut and paste code” thing, but that’s okay.  Come on, food bloggers – I know you’re out there, so link up a recipe that can be made ahead!   It doesn’t have to be posted on your blog today – any time in the past will work.  All I ask is that you link back to this post and make sure it’s all real food ingredients.

As for my recipe, this is one of those dishes that benefits from sitting in the refrigerator overnight, for it is even better the next day.  And don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; they’re mostly spices, and this dish is quite simple to prepare.  If you don’t want to have to tend the stew on the stove, simplify it even further and just combine all of the ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

The stew itself is very rich and very filling – the recipe says it serves 10, and that’s pretty accurate; the servings are substantial, but not huge, but they don’t need to be.  Nor is it sweet, despite the addition of the squash and the raisins.  Because of the long cooking, the butternut squash cooks down into a thick and creamy sauce, eliminating the need for additional thickeners.  This is quite delicious served over steamed jasmine rice, or grated cauliflower “rice” if you’re watching your carbs or avoiding grains.  I also served this with oven-roasted asparagus, and it was a big hit.

If you don’t eat pork, this would be quite good with cubed boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Pork Stew with Indian Flavors

Pork Stew with Indian Flavors

serves 10

2 tablespoons lard or other cooking fat
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder or picnic roast, cut into 2″ cubes
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 pinch allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup raisins
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the lard or cooking fat in a large Dutch oven, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat. Add the pork and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until pork is nicely browned and the onion is soft. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic and spices and continue cooking until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the chicken stock to the Dutch oven, then the coconut milk; stir in the butternut squash, followed by the raisins. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the pork is tender and the mixture is thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over steamed jasmine rice or grated cauliflower “rice.”

Nutrition (per serving): 511 calories, 35.8g total fat, 85.8mg cholesterol, 227mg sodium, 981.4mg potassium, 26g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 8.4g sugar, 23.7g protein.

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