The calendar says mid-January, so it’s definitely wintertime, though we’ve certainly had more than a few fluctuations in the weather, even just in the last week alone. Still, even in the absence of snow and biting cold at times, it’s been the kind of damp you feel in your bones.
It’s a good time for hearty soups and stews – take this Jerk Pork and Vegetable Stew, for instance. It’s got plenty of substance and can be made with local ingredients even as we’re still far removed from the traditional growing season, as Ontario’s greenhouses are in high gear.
Quick and simple to prepare, the ingredients can be thrown together in a slow-cooker turned down low for six to eight hours so that a meal is ready when you get home at the end of the day. As outlined below, this recipe serves four.
Jerk Pork and Vegetable Stew
- 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
- 3 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (about 1 lb/500 g)
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 lb pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh gingerroot
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Pinch pepper
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp. jerk paste (or to taste)
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
- 3 green onions, sliced
Place red pepper and squash in slow-cooker.
In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook pork, in batches, until browned, about 5 minutes.
Place in slow-cooker.
Add onion, garlic and ginger to skillet and cook until lightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir flour, salt and pepper into onion mixture.
In medium bowl, whisk broth and jerk paste until smooth; stir into skillet and bring to simmer. Pour over pork and vegetables.
Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or until pork and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with coriander and green onions.