Hello, dear neighbors! Cooking meat* and vegetables in the same dish means getting fewer pots out of the cabinets! This recipe is something I start making in the fall, as soon as winter squash is available to me, and as late as March, until I can’t find any more. You can make it with kabocha, orange Hubbard, or the red Kuri variety. In the photos I have included to illustrate this recipe I used kabocha, a delicious kind of squash that doesn’t fall apart as it bakes, but also one particularly hard to peel – so if you are as clumsy as I am, dear neighbors, please be careful not to harm yourself. So, even though total baking time is one hour, you do have to allow for extra time to prep the squash. If you are on a busy schedule, you can do that ahead of time and keep the peeled squash refrigerated in a sealed container until cooking time. Finally, I like to serve this dish with more vegetables, usually green beans, for more color but also to make sure we get a wider range of vitamins in our plates!
*For those of my dear neighbors who do not eat pork, although I haven’t tried it yet, I feel pretty confident that a roast veal would be a good substitute.
Ingredients: (serves 4 people)
– about 500-600g (a good lb) pork loin – or veal (top round cut)
– less than 1 kilo (2 lbs) winter squash
– some all natural sea salt
– herbes de Provence, preferably organic
– some olive oil
– tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
for the sauce (optional) :
– tahini (sesame paste)
– sulfite-free mustard, in other words mustard made using distilled vinegar (not wine vinegar)
a large baking dish
1. Prepare the squash : slice it up, remove the seeds, peel it, and cut it into cubes.
(Preheat the oven to 200°C / 395°F)
2. Generously season the meat with herbs (herbes de Provence) and tamari, then drizzle with olive oil. Place in a large baking dish (you should have enough space left to add the squash later on) and start baking for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, season the cubed squash with more herbs and a little salt, not too much, as the tamari used on the meat will already have some. Again, drizzle with olive oil and mix, with your bare hands if you like! Note that I do not give any specific quantities, it all depends how much squash you have and how well seasoned you like your food!
4. Add the squash to the meat in the dish and bake an additional 45 to 50 minutes, covering with foil after 15 minutes to prevent the meat from drying.
I usually prepare my other vegetables at this point. Right now it is green beans (“haricots verts”) from last summer’s crop. They are so thin (they somehow survived a terrible drought, remember?) that they don’t take long to cook!
5. Preparing the sauce:
Remove both the meat and the squash from the dish. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan. Add a little tahini and a little mustard. Here, I didn’t have much liquid so I only added ½ tsp of each. Mix and heat on low, stirring, until a creamy sauce forms, to be poured over the pork or veal slices.
A note on cutting the squash: I try to cut along its ribs to avoid stabbing myself – which happened to me one time when the knife slid off! I am well known for being clumsy. I inevitably break one of my son’s glasses whenever we stay at his place! Last time, after ten weeks of not dropping anything, I thought the curse was over, but on the very last morning I did it again! Blame it on the “airport syndrome” which makes me nervous every single time.
Dear neighbors, I am one guest to be avoided 😬!