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Harvest Pork Stew with Butternut Squash

Harvest time has never tasted so good. See the Notes Section for swaps and substitutions as well as Slow Cooker Instructions.
Course dinner
Cuisine North American
Keyword butternut squash, pork, soup, stew
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 275kcal

Equipment

  • 10 or 12-quart stockpot or dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (17 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (10 grams) granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (7 grams) black pepper
  • 2 3/4 pounds (1 1/4 kilograms) boneless country style pork ribs cut into 1-1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons (18 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) vegetable oil
  • 1 large (2 1/2 cups or 350 grams) white onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks (2 cups or 230 grams) celery trimmed and cut 1/2-inch thick
  • 3 medium (2 cups or 290 grams) carrots peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • 11.2 ounce bottle (330 milliliters) Guinness Stout or dark lager
  • 4 cups (237 milliliters) beef broth
  • 1/2 (4 cups or 500 grams) butternut squash peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 large (about 1 1/2 cups or 225 grams) russet potato peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 large (1 1/2 cups or 225 grams) sweet potato peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 medium (1 cup or 200 grams) boniato (white sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 stems (1 tablespoon) fresh sage minced (or 1 teaspoon dried, rubbed sage)
  • 2 stems (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) fresh rosemary leaves removed and chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried, crushed rosemary)
  • 2 stems (about 3/4 tablespoons) fresh thyme stems removed (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)

Instructions

Season, then Sear the Pork

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the kosher salt, granulated garlic, and black pepper to create a spice blend. 
    Sprinkle all of the spice blend over the meat.
  • Toss the seasoned pork lightly in the all-purpose flour. The meat should have a light dusting of flour.
    Shake off any excess to prevent it from scorching in the oil when you sear the meat.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a 10 or 12-quart stockpot over medium-high heat.
    When the oil in the pot begins to shimmer, add a handful of the seasoned meat to the pot.
    Avoid crowding the pot, or the meat won't caramelize properly, leave some space around each piece of meat. 
  • Sear the meat for 3-4 minutes, turning it to sear each side well.
    Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pot to a bowl or dish, then add the next batch of meat.
    Continue searing the meat in batches like this until they're all browned, and browned bits remaining on the bottom of the pot. 

Sauté the Aromatics, then Deglaze the Pot with the Beer

  • If no oil is visible on bottom of your pot, add another tablespoon to it.
    Once the oil is hot, add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to the pot.
    Sauté the veggies over medium-high heat, frequently stirring with a wooden spoon, for 3-4 minutes, or until they are glossy and just starting to take on a golden brown color.
  • Pour the Guinness into the pot. Be careful because it will steam quite a bit.
    Once all of the beer has been added to the pot, use the spoon to scrape that browned bits (fond) from the bottom of the pot.

Return the Pork to the Pot, Along with the Veggies, then Simmer

  • Once the fond has been scraped from the bottom of the pot, add the beef stock to the pot.
    Next, return the seared pork to the pot. Bring the liquid in the pot up to a gentle boil. 
  • After the stock has come to a boil, add the butternut squash, potato, sweet potato, boniato, and bay leaves to the pot.
    Bring this mixture back up to a boil, frequently stirring to keep anything from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 
  • Once the stew is boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.
    Simmer the stew for 35-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender, stirring occasionally.

Add the Herbs at the Right Time, then Serve

  • If you are using dried herbs, stir them into the stew towards the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
    Once the potatoes are tender, remove the stew from the heat and serve.
    Fresh herbs can be stirred in just before serving or right before you turn off the stove.   
  • Ladle the stew into soup bowls and serve with warm, crusty bread or on its own.

Notes

Swaps and Substitutions:

  • Replace the pork in this recipe with equal weight of chunks or beef (chuck, round, or point brisket), lamb (shoulder or leg), bison, goat, veal, or venison.  
  • The flour coating on the pork is optional. If you're on a gluten-free diet, you can omit it. 
  • You can replace the Guinness in this recipe with beef stock.  
  • If you're not a fan of Guinness, you can use any lager, stout, or ale you do like.  
  • Use a combination of these root veggies in this recipe: acorn squash, kabocha squash, delicata squash, pumpkin, purple yam or ube, parsnips, and/or rutabaga.
  • You can use sage, rosemary, and thyme or just one or two of these. Avoid bright herbs like cilantro and parsley.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Make-Ahead:
    • Season the pork up to six months ahead, then transfer it to a freezer storage bag. Thaw the meat the fridge the night before you plan to make the stew. 
    • You can also just season it a day ahead and store it in a covered container in the fridge.

Slow Cooker Method:

  1. Sear the pork and sauté the mirepoix as instructed, deglazing the pot with the Guinness.
  2. Add everything to a large-capacity slow cooker and stir it all together.
  3. Cook the stew on low for 8 hours, stirring in the herbs just before serving.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

  • Storing Leftovers:
    1. Transfer room temperature leftovers to a food storage container.
    2. Store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
    3. Reheat only the amount you plan to eat in the microwave or on the stove in a pot until warmed through. 
  • Freezing Instructions:
    1. Allow it to cool completely.
    2. Transfer the stew to a freezer-safe storage container.
    3. Freeze the stew for up to 3 months.
    4. Thaw the stew in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. 

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1316mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg