Aromatic Pork & Pumpkin Casserole

It’s raining, it’s pouring, my casserole pot is bubbling…

I’ve said it many a time but I love winter and I love wintery food. Casseroles, Hotpots and Pies all appeal to my anarchic style of free-styling in the kitchen. No real recipe or exact quantities required just a sense of what flavours work well together.

Pork is great for slow cooking and is usually fairly cheap and cheerful so a little really can go a long way if you’ve got lots of mouths to feed.

I love heat and spice so any chance I get to crack open my spice cabinet is most welcome. I like the physical sensation of being warmed from within which is what I aimed to achieve with this heavily flavoured dish.

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ingredients
Piece of pork (you can use most cuts), 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 carrots, 1 leek, 1/2 small pumpkin or squash, 2 sticks celery, 2 bay leaves, tin of plum tomatoes, tin butter beans, 500g stock, 1 tsp chilli seeds, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin seed, mixed fresh herbs; rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, salt and pepper, fresh ginger

preparation
1. Heat some oil in a large casserole pan and seal the meat so it’s golden on all sides.
2. Loosely chop the onion, garlic, leek and celery and add to the pan and allow to sweat for a couple of minutes.
3. Dice the pumpkin into large chunks and roughly chop the carrot and add to the mix with the stock, tinned tomatoes, 1/2 tin butter beans, spices and 1/2 chopped herbs.
4. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for a couple of hours until the meat starts to tenderise and flake when cut.

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5. I like to add the remaining butter beans and herbs at this stage so that you retain the texture of the beans as the others will likely have broken down in the sauce. Keeping half of the herbs helps give colour as the greenness will be more vibrant then the herbs added earlier.

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6. Simmer for another 30-60 minutes until the sauce has reduced down to the desired consistency.

7. I sometimes add in couscous to soak up the liquid and make a one plate casserole. Alternatively I serve with mashed potatoes.

The combination of herbs and spices gives a beautiful aromatic flavour that warms with every mouthful

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Comments
One Response to “Aromatic Pork & Pumpkin Casserole”
  1. A wonderful fall dish.

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