Slow-Cooked Pork w/Butternut Squash, Garlic, & Kale

I honestly don’t cook with pork all too often- no particular reason- just didn’t grow up eating it much (except bacon, of course I like me some bacon), but every now and then, I get an itch to switch things up.  This was one of those itches, and man, was it a good one.  You could easily swap out the pork for beef if you wanted, but I really loved this dish exactly as is.  It’s comforting, it’s savory, it’s a bit sweet, and it’s easy to boot.  All things I’m a fan of.  :)

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I adapted this recipe from a Williams-Sonoma one I’d seen a while back (it’s here for those who want to take a peep).  I took the general list of ingredients from the W.S. recipe, revised them to suit my needs, added some butternut squash for added heartiness, health, and taste, and then turned it into a slow-cooked concoction instead.  It was delish.  I imagine it tastes nothing like the original actually- who knows- but I have to give credit where credit is due. ;)

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The only thing I think I’d do different is double this recipe next time.  I wanted more.  It was gone quickly, and I was so so sad.  Next time I’ll double it, and maybe serve it with some mashed potatoes.  Drool.

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You may be thinking 10 garlic cloves sounds like a lot, but nope, it’s not too much at all.  Once slow-cooked for hours, the cloves take on a slightly sweet flavor, not over-garlicky at all.  I actually love whole garlic cloves… roasted, slow-cooked, cooked however.  They add just the right flavor to this dish.  And, extra bonus, they’re super healthy too… gotta like that.

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makes approx 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1-1.5 lb pork shoulder

1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped, approx 2 cups

1 medium yellow onion, approx 1 cup chopped

10 garlic cloves

3 cups chopped fresh kale

5 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary, approx 2 inch

1/3 cup chicken broth, homemade or good quality store-bought

1/3 cup dry red wine

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

To prep squash…

Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler

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Cut off ends and then slice the squash in half vertically

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Scoop any seeds and goop out with a spoon

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With the flat side down (to make chopping easier and keep that squash in place),

chop it into about 1 inch cubes

Set aside for now

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Chop pork into large bite-size cubes, approx 2 inches long

Mix the salt and pepper together in palm of your hand and then sprinkle over the pork

(or sprinkle each directly on the pork instead- I sometimes premix for even coating- not necessary though) :)

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Toss meat to distribute seasoning

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Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat

Add the pork

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Cook for a few minutes on each side, until browned

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Scoop pork onto a plate and set aside for now

You want approx 1 tbsp grease left in the pan, return pan to heat

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Chop onion and peel garlic cloves

(Instead of individual sprigs of thyme, I had one big stem with multiple sprigs- either works)

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Add the onion and herbs to the pan

Cook for about minutes, stirring often to prevent burning

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Add peeled garlic cloves

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Cook for a few minutes more, until lightly browned, stirring frequently

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Add wine- scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula to deglaze

Let it cook down for 3-4 minutes

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Liquid will evaporate by about half

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Add the sauce (along with all herbs, onions, and garlic) to the Crock Pot

with the chicken broth, kale, squash, and pork

Toss everything together

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Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours

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Once done, remove the thyme and rosemary sprigs

Season with extra salt and pepper, to taste, if desired

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Serve over rice, zucchini noodles, mashed potatoes, or whatever else you may want…

Enjoy!

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Slow-Cooked Pork w/Butternut Squash, Garlic, & Kale

Slow-cooked pork with a savory blend of butternut squash, kale, and loads of garlic. Subsitute beef if preferred.

  • 1.5 lb pork shoulder
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped, approx 2 cups
  • 1 medium yellow onion, approx 1 cup chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, approx 2 inch
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth, homemade or good quality storebought
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Chop pork into approx. 1 1/2 inch cubes

Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the pork- toss to coat evenly

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a pan

Add the pork, cooking all sides for a few minutes each, until browned

Remove the pork, leaving about 1 tbsp grease in the pan

Add the chopped onion, thyme, and rosemary- cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning

Add garlic- cook for 2-3 minutes more, then add wine- cook down for about 3-4 minutes, using a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan

Add the onion-wine sauce, chicken broth, chopped squash, and pork to a slow cooker

Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours

Serve over rice, zucchini noodles, pureed cauliflower, potatoes, or whatever else you like and enjoy!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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