Thursday, 28 October 2010

Autumnal stew of pork with black beans and squash

With the cold weather heading our way and the nights drawing in, this is what's going to be in the pot tonight. It could probably feed three, but to be honest we will both have been running around a lot today and I'm always starving in this weather, so let's say it serves 2 at 6.5 Points each.

1 acorn squash, peeled, deseeded and hacked into chunks
3 smallish courgettes, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 smallish onions, diced
1 can chopped tomatoes in juice
5 cloves of garlic, crushed/smashed/smooshed
3 lean pork leg steaks (not very big)
1 carton of Sainsbury's organic black beans in water, drained
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp dried chipotle powder
1 tsp dried ancho powder
shake of bittersweet smoked paprika
pork stock cube if you've got it (that's your call)
If you're feeling like something a bit different, a peeled, cored and diced Granny Smith
If I'm feeling frisky I might pop in one of the whole dried pasilla chilis I've been hoarding from The Gringley Gringo (who also incidentally make the most awesome chipotle chutney).

So, off we go.

Sort your squash out first, peeling it and deseeding it and chopping it into manageable lumps. That needs to go into a roasting tray with a few squirts of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, and into the oven at 180 while you do everything else. You need to check it and give it a bit of a shake every 10-15 minutes and the idea is that you add it into the pot with the rest of the ingredients towards the end of cooking so it doesn't all fall to mush.

When that's on the go, start with your pork; cut it into small pieces and add it to your pan with a spray of oil. Leave that to start browning. When it's getting there, add the onion and garlic and let it all cook down gently together so everything is golden brown and soft; when it's there, add the pepper and courgettes (and any dried whole chilis and the apple if you're using them), put the lid on and let it simmer.

After about ten minutes, when everything is softened, add the tomatoes, puree, beans, stock cube and spices, give it a good stir and then let it all cook down til it's how you like it. When it's nearly there and your squash is roasted til it's soft and starting to catch a bit round the edges, add the squash to the mix and serve - enjoy!

If you are in need of extra ballast this will go really well with some brown rice (say 60g each - about 3 Points), or perhaps even a couple of wraps? (WW do them for 1 Point each, but they don't currently do wholewheat, which doesn't suit me too well.)

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