Years and years ago, a friend of mine had made this mouth-watering pulled pork shoulder that had been marinated forever in a combination of orange juice and tequila, along with lots of spices; we've since lost touch and I have absolutely no clue where his recipe came from (and I distinctly remember his response when I asked him where he got the recipe from: "the internet".) I just remember it was too spicy for anyone else in the apartment to eat (even him) and I ended up eating the whole dang thing myself over a matter of a few days, cold out of the fridge, sitting at the bar directly in front of the fridge, out of tupperware at some point.
Anyways, that's what inspired me to put together this recipe. I picked up a big piece of meat (an organic, free range, grass-fed, etc. piece of meat at that) and it was labeled "shoulder chuck roast" and seeing as how I'd never cooked anything like that before, I did a little research... on "the internet". After reading a bunch of articles I opted for a soup. It's been in the low to mid 20's here in Indiana and most everyone needs some warming up.
Maybe you can use a different piece of meat for the stew - you decide. I will tell you that after brining it overnight you'll take it out of the Ziploc bag and say to yourself 'Oh sh*t, it's so tough and leathery on the outside!' and I promise you, it's no big deal. It's all fine. After you cook it in the stew it'll fall apart very nicely. Also, a little tip - Once you take the meat out of the brine and brown it, steal a piece or two for yourself - it'll be rare-ish on the inside but the flavor... oh the flavor... so divine (or maybe I'm just full of myself, you decide and tell me in the comments).
* A note about the squash - The butternut squash adds a little sweetness to the stew; my boyfriend suggested the next time I make it using potatoes instead - you're more than welcome to do this if you're not a squash fan! —Ashley Marie