This is a robust stew similar in texture to beef stew but a fun fall alternative. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be altered many ways. Add a few teaspoons of your favorite curry powder or paste or substitute coconut milk for the stock. Serves 8

  • 2–3 pounds pork shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup fresh apple cider
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 3 stalks celery, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound of pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks (about ½ a small pumpkin)
  • 7 baby carrots, scrubbed
  • 1 apple, peeled and cored
  • 1 leek, cleaned and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 quart pork or chicken stock
  • 5 shakes hot sauce (not enough to make it hot, just enough to add depth)

Salt both sides of pork and sear in vegetable oil until all sides are well browned and place in a Crock-Pot. Deglaze pan with cider and add juices to Crock-Pot. Sprinkle flour over meat and juices. Add onion, garlic, potatoes, celery, pumpkin, carrots, apple and leek to Crock-Pot. Pour stock over top, add hot sauce and place lid on Crock-Pot. Set to high for 6 hours, until pork is very easy to pull apart. Serve with crusty bread, rice, wide egg noodles or other grain.

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