One of my favorite kitchen appliances is this multi purpose cooker by Cuisinart. With it I can roast, sauté, steam or slow cook. These days when I am in and out of the house so much, the slow cook feature is well used. I can start a meal in the morning and when I return later in the day the house is filled with tantalizing aroma.
Certainly, that was true of this dish made with two main ingredients, pork and butternut squash. Judging from the clean as a whistle plates, it was a winner! As the cook, I appreciated both the moans of pleasure from guests and how simple it was to prepare. That makes it a recipe worth sharing.
Pork with Spicy Squash
3 lb. boneless pork loin well seasoned with salt and pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. dry white wine or vermouth
1 c. chicken stock
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. each chopped Thai or sweet basil and cilantro
1/3-1/2 c. Asian Lime vinaigrette made with 2 T. olive oil, 1 T. soy sauce, juice of 1 lime, 2 t. sherry vinegar, 1/2 t. sugar, 1 t. finely chopped ginger and 2- 3 drops of Tabasco or Sriracha, all blended together.
Sear the pork in 2 T. of olive oil until it is browned on all sides. Place in your slow cooker.* Sauté onion until it is tender. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Stir in wine and chicken stock and pour over the pork. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours or until the meat is so tender it almost falls apart. Remove to a cutting board or large bowl or platter and shred. Add some of the braising liquid to moisten the pork.
About 20 minutes before the pork is done, roast the butternut squash that has been tossed in 1 T. of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Stir every 5 minutes or so until the squash is done. In a bowl, add basil, cilantro and the vinaigrette to the squash and toss.
To serve, mound some of the pork on a warmed plate and top with the squash mixture. It can also be served from a large platter, but it does look very nice when it is plated.
*Should you not have a slow cooker, I think it would work to roast the pork in the oven until it is tender.
You can serve this dish with a side of vegetables if you like, but all that is really needed is a salad. Greens tossed with apple or pear, craisins and carmelized pecans or walnuts is a perfect accompaniment. If wine is served, I recommend a rose or sauvignon blanc to complement the spicy flavors in the squash.
I’m thinking this is a dish that will be added to my list of favorites.