Roasted Butternut and Pork Chili

This recipe is based on a Cooking Light recipe, but I changed up a bunch of stuff (some ingredients and some prep) so I’m posting my own version:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1  tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can Mexican style fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)

Spread squash on a cookie sheet and toss with a little olive oil. Roast at 425 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, mix spices together and coat pork. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pork; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1/2 hour or until pork is just cooked, stirring occasionally. Stir in butternut squash and simmer for another 5 minutes or until warm.

I roasted the squash instead of simmering it because I find there’s a very skinny line between hard and stringy squash. Roasting seems to work much better. I also like my pork just cooked, not boiled within an inch of its life, so I cut the cooking time way down. I have never had any luck with getting pork shoulder past the shoe leather stage and into the tender-falling-apart stage. It seems like the more I cook it the more sawdusty it gets.

I served it with Martha Stewart’s Cornmeal Drop Biscuits which were easy and super tasty. I think I may re-purpose the rest of the batch with some fresh whipped cream and strawberries and call it shortcake!

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