Monday, December 10, 2012

Pork Shoulder & Veggie Stockpot

I had the best "stockpot special" while we were in St. Louis.  It had chunks of pork shoulder, carrots, butternut squash, tomatoes & celery.  It was 22 degrees the day we arrived in St. Louis, so this stew was perfect!  Of course, I had to come right home and try to recreate it:)   
Being from Louisiana, I started mine with onions, celery & a green pepper... :)

Pork Shoulder & Veggie Stockpot
1 TBSP olive oil
3 LBS pork shoulder, cut into 1" - 2" chunks
1 large yellow onion
5 celery stalks, washed and chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored & chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1" chunks
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2" chunks
1 (15 oz) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
4 - 6 cups low sodium chicken stock (to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chipolte pepper in adobo sauce, chopped fine and seeds removed
Kosher salt to taste (I put about 1 tsp)
Cut pork shoulder into 1 - 2 inch chunks.  Try to remove as much fat as possible.  Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large stock pot.  Add pork shoulder chunks to the pot and brown for a few minutes on each side (adding a little salt as you cook), then remove from the pot and set aside on a clean plate.  Add the chopped onion, celery & bell pepper to the same pot you browned the pork shoulder.  Cook until tender, about 5 - 6 minutes.  Add minced garlic and cook for another minute.  Next add the can of crushed tomatoes, chipolte pepper in adobo, oregano, & thyme.  Cook for a few minutes and then add chicken stock, carrots & butternut squash.  Return the pork shoulder to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 2 hours.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  I added an extra tsp of adobo sauce because I like it spicy.  Serve with a big chunk of crusty french bread:)
Can anyone believe I cut up this big hunk of meat??  I have the maturity level of a 12 year old girl when it comes to meat... 
Browning it first helps to cook off a little of the fat that is left on the pork shoulder.
More veggies.  I had the rest of the butternut squash in a ziplock bag in our fridge and the next day Ava's sitter thought it was cheese and tried to feed it to her, LOL! 
What's that, you want to see more vacation pictures from St. Louis that I've never had time to post??  ;)
Zach & Ava at Con's World Headquarters (aka Nonnie's house).  Zach grew up in the Central West End in St. Louis... LOVE that neighborhood:)  I think we went out to eat 3 times a day everyday we were there...
Playing around in Forest Park across the street from Nonnies house.
What a backyard, no?
Ava needs at least three hours of "run around wild outside" time a day or she gets really cranky.  Don't we all? ;)
Forest Park.
It's hard to keep up with a tot on your shoulders.
Me in the newly renovated Maryland Plaza.  Drink illy, it will make you live longer:)
Ava & Johnny admiring the fountain in Maryland Plaza.  Some of the places we enjoy in St. Louis: Dressles, Handle BarDuff's Restaurant, 4 hands brewery (there are something crazy like 22 local breweries now in STL...) & La Vellesana (the taco stand).

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