Pork Stew with Ancho Chilies and Squash

Serves 4-6

Smoky cumin, bright coriander and fennel seed flavor this hearty and nutritious pork stew.
Ingredients
  • 4 ancho chili peppers, seeds and stems removed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons each coriander, cumin and fennel seed (you can use ground but toasting the seeds and grinding them yourself will give more nutty, smoky flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder/butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 pounds kabocha or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Toasted pepitas, lime-pickled onions and/or cilantro leaves, for topping
Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Place the anchos in a pot with the stock and bring to a simmer to soften the peppers. Puree and reserve.
    Toast the seeds, if using, and grind in a spice mill.
  3. Bring the meat to room temperature and pat dry; season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches and remove. Add the onions, garlic and ground spices, then partially cover the pot. Soften the onions, 7-8 minutes, then add the pepper puree, pork, squash and honey; stir. Cover and transfer to the oven.
  4. Roast the stew for 75-90 minutes, until the pork is very tender. Serve the stew in shallow bowls with garnishes of your choice.