Boy howdy. When you’re in a Whole30, you really need to change up the flavor profiles of your meals. Some days I’m fine with fairly unadorned food, allowing the natural tastes to come forward. But sometimes my tongue needs a kick in the pants.
This stew borrows warm spices from pumpkin pie, believe it or not. So perfect for this season and perfect for your slow cooker. If you don’t have pumpkin on hand, other squashes like butternut, acorn, delicata or tubers and roots like sweet potatoes or carrots would sub just fine. The stew would work equally well with beef, pork, or lamb. I served it on top of sautéed garlicky spinach, but it would be great on riced cauliflower too.
P.S. – I apologize for the poor photo of the finished dish. I promise to get some decent lighting soon.
2 lbs. bison, beef, pork, or lamb stew meat
2 Tbsp. lard or coconut oil, for browning
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 shallots or onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves
1 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and grated
2-3 cups beef broth
1) In large skillet (or pot if cooking on the stove) over medium-high heat, melt lard or oil. Add meat to hot pan, being careful not to crowd the meat together, cooking it in batches if needed. Generously salt and pepper the meat. Turn when browned on one side and continue browning on other side. When browned (meat need not be completely cooked), put meat in slow cooker or on a rimmed baking sheet if cooking on the stove. Repeat with remaining meat.
2) Add shallots to the pan, adding more cooking fat if needed. When they’re beginning to soften, add garlic and pumpkin. Cook until pumpkin has browned a little, then add shallot-pumpkin mixture to slow cooker, or if cooking on stove, return meat and any accumulated juices back to the pot.
3) Stir in cumin, spices, and ginger. Add broth until it reaches just below the top of the meat and veggies. Put a lid on it and set slow cooker to high for 2 1/2 hours (if eating in a few hours), low (if cooking it all day), or put pot over medium-low for 2 1/2 hours on the stove. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
Serves 4, probably with some leftovers.