This is a wonderful blend of fall flavors. The small dice of butternut squash and turnips almost melts into the broth as the stew cooks, while the ginger, cumin and pinch of cayenne pepper enrich the dish.
- 4 to 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium (4 ounces) onion, finely diced
- 1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium (4 ounces) white turnips (or yellow turnips), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups apple cider
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, butt or country-style spareribs, trimmed of visible fat and cut into bite-size pieces
In a large pot over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onions and cook until they have softened and just start to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the diced squash and turnip and the ginger, cumin and cayenne pepper, stirring to combine. Add the flour and stir until blended, then add the chicken broth and 1 cup of the apple cider. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add enough of the pork cubes to fill the pan comfortably without crowding the pieces. Brown the meat, turning at least once, 4 to 5 minutes total, then transfer it to a large bowl and set aside. Repeat with the remaining pieces, adding more oil to the pan if needed.
In the same pan used to brown the pork, increase the heat to high. Add the remaining 1 cup of apple cider, using it just to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits of pork stuck to the pan.
Transfer this mixture, along with the reserved pork and its accumulated juices, to the pot with the vegetables. The broth should cover the pork and vegetables; if it does not, add more apple cider or water. Bring the stew to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let the broth cook gently, uncovered, until the meat is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, tasting and adjusting seasonings as needed after about 1 hour.
Serve hot, or let cool completely then cover tightly and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Adapted from former Food section recipe editor Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.