A gentle warming stew that’s perfect for these cooler Autumnal evenings. And like most stews, so very very easy to put together. And another great way to use up yet more pumpkin! A word of warning on the pumpkin though. Quite often when you buy the very big pumpkins in the UK for Halloween they can be very tasteless for cooking with, no matter how much roasting and flavouring you add they’ll never be great. If you do have a pumpkin to use try roasting a little of it in the oven before using, just to have a taste check. You could always substitute Butternut squash as a more reliable tasty alternative.
To add a bit of extra spark I tend to add a touch of chilli, but really it’s not necessary
Enough for four:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 small peppers or 1 very large one, preferably red, roughly chopped into big chunks
1/2 red chilli or good pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
600g pumpkin, cut into 2cm chunks
a small apple, peeled cored and chopped into fairly small pieces
500g pork (lean and boneless), cut into 2cm chunks
2 bay leaves
1½ tbsp fresh chopped sage leaves, or 2 tsp of dried sage
1½ tbsp tomato puree
250ml dry cider
450ml chicken stock
salt and pepper
In a large saucepan or casserole dish place the olive oil and onion, cook for a few minutes until the onion has softened a little. Then add the peppers, chilli (if using), pumpkin, apple and pork. Stir fairly regularly so nothing catches and burns, cook for about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves, sage and tomato puree and cook for another moment or two before adding the cider. Allow the cider to cook down for about 5 minutes or so before adding the stock.
Cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pork and vegetables are all soft and very tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with plenty of mash, and maybe a nice steamed green vegetable on the side.