Pork Stew with White Beans and Butternut Squash

By Merrill Stubbs
November 10, 2014
20 Comments


Serves: 12

Ingredients

For the Beans

  • 1/4 pound small, dry white beans
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed

For the Stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, well-marbled, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 2 cups homemade or low sodium pork, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups diced butternut squash (1/2-inch)

Directions

  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 a teaspoon of salt, the peppercorns, olive oil, thyme 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, peppercorns and thyme, and set aside.
  2. To make the stew, heat the oven to 350° F. Put 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven and set over medium-high heat. When the oil just starts to smoke, season half the pork well with salt and add it to the pot. Brown the cubes on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove the pork to a plate with a slotted spoon and repeat with the rest of the meat, adding more oil if necessary.
  3. When the pork is browned, turn the heat to low and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Stir in the mustard, tomato paste and paprika and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock, thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt, as well as the browned pork and any accumulated juices. Stir well and bring the stew to a boil over medium-high heat. When it is simmering, cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook for an hour and a half.
  5. Add the cooked beans and the butternut squash to the pot, stir them gently through, and return the stew to the oven for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the meat and the squash are fork-tender. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately with rice or couscous, or cool and refrigerate to reheat the next day.

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Reviews (20) Questions (3)

20 Comments

Erin H. October 1, 2018
The flavor was phenomenal and I love how hearty, but not heavy, this is. I did make a few adjustments based on other comments: I did 2 pounds of pork shoulder, doubled the broth, and used almost 3 pounds of squash (instead of measuring the 1.5 cups.)<br /><br />My husband loved the sweetness of the squash in balance of the rich pork and umami broth. Will definitely be making again!
 
Änneken December 27, 2017
In terms of flavor, I thought this was excellent! I do think though that the meat-veggie ratio is a bit off. When I made it the second time I only used 2/3 of the stated amount of pork shoulder and 1/3 more veggies (equal parts butternut squash and rutabaga).
 
Gina U. December 4, 2017
hope it is ok but i loved it so much the first time that i wanted more broth the second time. i decided to double all ingredients except the pork and it made a wonderful rich stock that crusty bread had to find its way into.
 
shoestringmama January 25, 2015
This was a lovely rich and deep flavored stew - I did add a bit more broth as my 10 yr is not a fan of thick stews. She loved "the sauce with the rice" and gobbled it up. I had scored a nice grass fed pork shoulder at the Market a while back and had been waiting for a cold and snowing day to make this. Thank you for sharing. Would like to try it in slow cooker next time.
 
Chloroph November 16, 2014
Made this yesterday using cubes of grass fed chuck (we don't do pork). It was delicious! Will definitely make again!
 
Douglas B. November 14, 2014
subtle enjoyable flavors are this stew. I used cubes of butcher cut pork and I omitted tomato paste as I, unfortunately, have a sensitivity to tomatoes. This recipe yielded me just over a gallon of stew ! a Fabu Stew that will last us the week.
 
robin L. November 13, 2014
Will the 'marbling' cook out...? Try as we might, we don't much like 'fatty' meat...Should I just go with a pork tenderloin, which will probably be leaner? (I don't mean to offend here!)
 
Susan W. November 13, 2014
Yes, it will cook out into the sauce. Refrigerate it overnight and you can remove the fat. You can also remove a lot of the fat from pork shoulder when you cut it up. I don't suggest pork tenderloin for a stew.
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. November 13, 2014
I agree; tenderloin will end up very tough after this much time in the oven. Better to make the stew, chill it and skim any excess fat off the top before reheating.
 
Ms S. November 12, 2014
My next slow cooker meal! I will brown the pork and then the onion, spice and tomato... into the slow cooker for about 4 hours on low ought to do it!
 
Susan W. November 12, 2014
I made it as written. The next step is to slow cookerize it. I think you should also reduce the liquids because they do reduce to a wonderful rich sauce when braised in the oven. I will add the thyme and beans the last hour or so.
 
shoestringmama January 25, 2015
How did the slow cooker version work out? About 4 hrs on low like Ms Sumida suggested and adding beans and thyme in the last hour?
 
Susan W. January 25, 2015
I've made it a few times in the slow cooker and it works really well. I do reduce the broth a little, but not by much. I like a brothy stew these days. I do add the beans and thyme the last hour. I need to make it again this week. :)
 
Ms S. January 26, 2015
@shoestringmama - it was wonderful!
 
shoestringmama January 26, 2015
Thank you both Ms Sumida and Susan W ... will stock up to have all ingredients on hand to make on another cold and snowy day (very soon!).
 
laura November 11, 2014
This was fabulous. I subbed canned navy beans because I didn't have time to soak and cook my own, it was still awesome. It's a great alternative to the heavier beef and lamb stews I generally make. <br /> I wished my kids liked it less so I could have had leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. Can't wait to make it again!
 
Susan W. November 11, 2014
This turned out perfectly. It's so delicious and it is now my go to winter pork stew. I wouldn't change a thing. Can't wait to make a proper batch so I have leftovers for the freezer.
 
Susan W. November 11, 2014
This is bubbling away in my oven. I had everything on hand but the garlic. Weird. I am making a mini version because I had one boneless fatty rib from a pastured pig. It smells so good. <br /><br />Two questions. Does Clara not like pepper? I did add it. Also, the recipe doesn't mention when to add the paprika. I added it with the tomato paste and mustard. <br /><br />I'm serving this with cauli mash. Can't wait.
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. November 11, 2014
Clara actually does like pepper -- I just didn't add it this time, but of course you could! And yes, that's when the paprika goes in. Will correct that now!
 
ChefJune November 11, 2014
I will definitely be making this. I can taste it just reading the recipe. Just wonderful!