October 13 2012

Spiced Pork and Butternut Squash with Sage

By Worker Bee
52 Comments

Spiced Pork and Butternut Squash with Sage is the perfect meal for a chilly day, not only because it’s hearty and comforting but also because the blend of autumnal spices warms the belly.

Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger aren’t just for pumpkin pie. This blend of spices also makes a delicious spice rub for pork. Pumpkin (or squash) doesn’t have to be left out entirely. In this recipe, butternut squash is roasted to crispy perfection and served alongside the braised pork with a garnish of brown butter and sage.

You can mix the spices together yourself, or to save time just use Pumpkin Pie spice blend from the store. Once seasoned, the pork simmers in broth for a half hour or so until tender. That same broth is mixed with coconut milk and quickly reduced into a savory sauce.

The squash is roasted separately so the edges become crisp and caramelized, a texture that’s a nice contrast to the tender meat. The final step – browning butter with minced sage – should not be skipped. You’ll be amazed by how the rich, nutty flavor of this simple garnish takes the dish to a whole new level.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (1.25 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (1.25 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (1.25 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (1.25 ml)
  • 2-3 pounds of boneless country style pork ribs or pork shoulder cut into 1-inch chunks (900-1350 g)
  • 1 butternut squash or pumpkin, weighing about 3 pounds (1350 g)
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (90 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (5 ml)
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth (250 ml)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, or more to taste (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (30 g)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (15 ml)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C).

In a small bowl mix together the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the meat then rub it in. Set the meat aside.

Peel the squash or pumpkin.

To peel and cut a butternut squash or pumpkin: Cut the top stem off. Cut a little bit off the bottom too, so it sits flat on a cutting board. Using a sturdy vegetable peeler, peel off the skin. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds/stringy parts with a spoon. Cut the halves into slices then into chunks of the same size, about 1-inch square.

Spread the cut pieces out in a large rimmed baking pan and coat with half of the coconut oil/olive oil and sprinkle with the cumin and a little bit of salt.

Roast for at least 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the pieces are lightly browned and soft. Depending on the size of the pieces and how soft and browned you want them to be, you might keep them in the oven for an hour or slightly more. Put the cooked squash in a large serving dish.

While the squash/pumpkin is roasting, heat a pot over medium-high on the stove then add the remaining oil. Let the oil heat for a minute then add the pork.

Cook for 5 minutes without turning the pork pieces so they brown, then stir the pieces and cook 3 minutes more.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. There should be just enough liquid to cover the meat, if not, add a little water. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The meat should be tender when it’s done.

Remove the lid and add the coconut milk. Raise the heat to high so the liquid boils and reduces a bit. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off and pour the pork and sauce over the roasted squash.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the sage. Fry the sage for 3-4 minutes, until it’s slightly crisp and the butter is browned.

Drizzle over the pork and squash.


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52 thoughts on “Spiced Pork and Butternut Squash with Sage”

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  1. Thanks; looks good! I’ll try the recipe soon. Speaking about pumpkin, it’s also becoming a good season for pumpkin soup (I’ll need to make one or two recipes primal…)

  2. This looks delicious. I just got a new crock pot, so this will have to wait until I get sick of cooking everything and anything it that, though.

    Also THANK YOU for the metric measurements! Saves me a lot of time!!

  3. Looks great! Just had some butternut squash soup it was good but lacking the protein. This will be the fix.

  4. This recipe looks good. I have never cooked squash before but I just made Thai pumpkin soup the other day. I’ll have to try this when I have time.

      1. Really? You don’t have to peel butternut squash? The peel seems kinda tough to me so I’ve been peeling it… Maybe I’ll try leaving it on, sure save some time.

  5. This looks delicious. Thanks! However I recommend that you don’t remove the vegetable rind because you lose an important source of vital nutrients.

  6. I have to say, I love the format for this recipe as it certainly breaks down the cooking process for those that haven’t any experience cooking real food.

    Kudos! (The dish looks delicious)

  7. I made this for dinner tonight and in spite of the unusually warm weather in Boise (this recipe is a shout out to Fall),to say nothing of the eye rolling and feigned wretching regarding squash, pumpkin pie spice and pork combination — Not One Leftover. Even the dogs were falling all over themselves to lick up the last of the brown butter and sage memories.(Our pups are considered “pre-wash” on the dishwasher setting at our house.) This is an unusual combination of flavors for us (the savory with the spices we usually think of as being reserved for the sweet), but ultimately one we will revisit again and again. Delicious!

  8. This came just in time for me, I found some sale pork chops that needed to be cooked. I used sweet potatoes from my garden instead of squash. I also added some mushrooms and a half an onion to the meat while it was simmering. Excellent! This one goes in the “I’m making it again” file!

  9. I made this tonight and it was fantastic! We will definitely be adding this to our fall/winter favorites.

  10. cool! I just got 72lbs of fresh pork; thanks for a fresh new idea!

  11. It took some time but wow, this may be the best pork I’ve ever had.

  12. I made this tonight for supper and it was fantastic. If I keep making meals this good my wife will want me to do all the cooking. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  13. Made this for my family. Delicious! Thank you. Will be making again 🙂

  14. I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious!

    I used heavy cream instead of coconut milk (not a coconut fan unfortunately), pumpkin instead of the butternut squash (my grocery store was all out), and probably doubled the spices (yum!). Peeling, slicing, cleaning, and cubing the pumpkin was a little more work than I expected, but it was well worth it! Next time I’ll be using the butternut squash or sweet potatoes.

  15. I made this tonight with porkchops instead of cubed pork. The flavors were amazing, and I finally made a pork chop that was tender! Definitely a recipe to keep!

  16. I made this today with chicken. Yum, yum. Perfect for Sunday dinner in rainy Stockholm!

  17. I can say it was a tasty treat.

    Is there an easier way to do the butternut squash? Because … it was tough to cut, even after peeled!

  18. To make the squash easier to peel & cut, I usually put it whole into a pot, cover it with water, and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn off the stove and let it sit for about 10 min. (with the lid on). It makes a huge difference.

  19. This was amazingly good! In fact it was so good that I forgot to do the sage….oops. I ended up doing a slow braise of the pork in the oven at about 300 F for about 1-2 hours until it was meltingly tender, then after I simmered the broth down to a thick sauce added the pork back in with a bunch of sliced chard. Next time I would add even less salt, the chicken broth I used was prefab–even though it was low sodium, the finished dish was a bit salty. THe chard and squash definitely were a nice counterpoint to the very rich and flavorful pork. Very satisfying on a chilly and rainy Seattle day!

  20. I made this dish yesterday and it was really tasteful. My boy friend is a chef, and I will make this dish to him tonight 😀

  21. Made this for dinner a couple of nights ago- OMG!!
    I used about a pound of pork as there’s only the two of us, and we literally just had the pork and squash, no other veggies, but I left the amount of spices the same. I did add more cinnamon about half way thru cooking as I thought the allspice was overpowering the other flavours a little, so maybe will use less next time.
    Didn’t bother with the sage butter as neither if us are a fan of sage to be honest.
    Must say though that it was quite a lot of meat, (like eating an 8oz pork steak each) so maybe will do less next time and serve with some nice steamed veggies, maybe some broccoli and a savoy cabbage, get the sour of the cabbage to oppose the sweet of the cinnamon. Yum!
    Having the Mediterranean Pork loin tonight, it’s been in the slow cooker all day and I’m drooling!

    1. Can I replace the coconut milk with heavy cream or something? I live in a country bumpkin town, and don’t sell coconut milk.

  22. Wow. Really good. Would probably go for the braise at lower temp for the pork next time. Added 1/2 t of cayenne. The Sage sauce is unreal.

  23. WOW! Our new favorite. I admit that we are not huge fans of butternut squash, and cutting it all up is work. Instead of Butternut squash I used delacata. Cut in half long way, brush with melted butter, sprinkle the cumin and salt on them (and some cayenne) and roast for 1 hour at 400 degrees.
    The cool thing is these act like serving ‘boats’ for the pork! serve pork in the squash boats, and pour sage butter over them. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  24. Made this dish last night and loved it. It looked as good as the photos and tasted amazingly good. Definitely a dish for company, and my 7 year old grandniece asked me to email the link to her mother, so kids will love it too.

  25. Made this, ate it the last few nights, and it was a great success! I will certainly make it again, can’t wait (drooling).

  26. You need to have a way to make your recipes printer friendly. It would take 7 pages to print this recipe. Not going to happen!

  27. This was awesome!! Had it last night and can’t wait to have leftovers tonight 🙂

  28. I made this recipe last night with grass-fed top round steak cubed into one inch pieces. The flavor was fantastic. It was a satisfying change of pace. Great recipe!

  29. This was fabulous! Easy to make, prepped the pork the day before and let it season in spices in the fridge. It was a tossup which we liked more, the pork or the squash. Will make it many times more and the squash for other dishes. Thanks! Loved it!!!

  30. This recipe was easy and delicious! I added grape tomatoes to the pork after putting in the coconut milk. They sauteed up really nice and added a tangy flare to this tasty dish!

  31. I made this recipe tonight and it was so yummy! Really hit the spot on this snowy day. My son and husband loved it!

  32. Made this last week and my kids loved it! I was so surprised! I substituted multi-coloured mini potatoes for the squash because that’s what I had on hand. Also used cloves instead of allspice and dried sage instead of fresh. Trying it again tonight with all the proper ingredients. So yummy!!

  33. Made this night absolutely yummy no left overs kids devoured it(mind they are adults) I added two teaspoons of turmeric. Did the whole lot in the slow cooker which I can fry on stove top and then set on slow cook

  34. I made this dish tonight and it was wonderful! I pretty much followed the instructions as written, though my squash was probably on the small side. My pork roast was 2-1/2 pounds and I had to add water to cover it at the beginning. After it started cooking and the meat shrunk I probably had too much liquid, so next time I’m not going to add the water to cover and will watch to see if the liquid increases after a little cooking. I used sage from my potted plant – it always makes me feel good when I can use something that I’ve grown. It was easy but took a little while, but very worth it. I especially liked making sure each bite had both squash and pork – SO yummy!

  35. I made this tonight and it was amazing!! My kitchen smells so good right now.

  36. Buttercup squash works real well too, I peel my squash, I don’t have to eat dual textured vegetables. Nice. Thanks.

  37. Best thing I’ve made in a long time. So delicious! Thank you for the recipe