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Simple stew starts with roast pumpkin

Recipe: Roast pumpkin-pork stew with poblano pepper

Finished stew in pot
Roasted pumpkin is delicious with pork and poblanos. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Pumpkin and poblano
A heritage pumpkin and poblano peppers are the base of the
Oaxacan-inspired stew.

Pumpkin pairs well with pork; roast pumpkin and roast pork team up even better.

Warmed by poblano pepper and cumin, this Oaxacan-inspired stew makes use of both: Chunks of oven-roasted pumpkin and leftover pork roast. Serve alone or over rice or polenta.

For this recipe, the pumpkin can be roasted up to two days in advance. Roasting keeps the chunks firmer than steaming, so the pumpkin doesn’t turn to mush in the stew.

How to roast pumpkin: Wash and pat dry pumpkin. Cut pumpkin into wedges. Scoop out seeds. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush cut surfaces of pumpkin with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange wedges in a large baking pan or on a rimmed cookie sheet with cut sides up. Bake at 400 degrees until the pumpkin is fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Peel and cube.

Slices of roasted pumpkin
Roasted pumpkin won't turn to mush in the stew.
Roast pumpkin-pork stew

Makes 4 servings


2 cups roast pumpkin, cubed

2 cups cooked pork roast, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, diced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

¼ cup white wine

½ cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup tomato sauce

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste


Cube roast pumpkin and cooked pork. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Over medium heat, sauté onions, celery, garlic and poblano pepper until soft. Add pork chunks to pan and sauté lightly, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Finished stew
Serve the stew alone or with rice or polenta.
Add white wine to deglaze the pan. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth and cumin. Cover the pan and reduce heat. Let simmer, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Add pumpkin chunks to the pan and re-cover the pan. Let stew simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring gently. (Don’t mash the pumpkin.) Adjust seasoning.

Serve warm.


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A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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