One young Catholic family on a Journey towards Intentional and Communal Sustainability. One Artist, one full time Mama and two babies, we'll tell you about all our successes, and failures, as we try to make it in our overly Consumeristic society on just the bare necessities.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pork and Pumpkins Are So Appetizing!

Pork and Pumpkin with Bacon and Red Wine sauce, sprinkled with Roasted Pepitas and Pecans!
We went to a party Saturday night, and I promised to bring something.  I was going to make chile, but someone else was already bringing 18 pounds of meat.  So I thought that was covered.  Instead, I made these delicious, incredible, completely invented appetizers. They were awesome.  They were amazing!  They were a huge hit!  And they were pretty to boot.  You should make them for your next fall party- Halloween, All Saint's day, Oktoberfest, or Veteran's Day anyone?  Thanksgiving too!
What do these things all have in common- other than being delicious that is?
1 pie pumpkin
1-2 lb pork roast, fat trimmed, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 package nitrate/nitrite free bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces before frying
About 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
About 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper  to taste
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons organic sucanat or other dry sugary thing like rapadura, etc.
Roasted Pumpkin seeds or Roasted Crispy Pecans
What?  You don't keep a pumpkin peeler in your drawer?
 Step 1- Peel your pie pumpkin.  I have several from the garden, but this one was from the store and was a "Baby Bear" pumpkin.  Our Dachshund likes to eat our pumpkins out of the garden, so we're having to fence off the remaining few in an attempt to get them to ripen without becoming Dog Food.  Anyway, peel your pumpkin with an ordinary pumpkin peeler.  If you don't have one of those, a potato peeler will do.
Save the seeds!  But for more immediate use than usually suggested
 Step 2- Cut your pretty peeled pumpkin in half (the easy way is easier- don't try to fight the stem).  Then scoop out the seeds and save for roasting later.  Cut the pumpkin flesh into chunks about the size of the top part of your thumb.  It's finger food, you know?

Here's my pumpkin chunks on the roasting pan ready to go.  I added about half a stick of butter, sliced up all over the place, and a few pieces of fat from the piece of ham I used- just for flavor.  Lard would probably work well here, but I don't have any.

Step 3- Sprinkle salt, pepper, and cinnamon over the whole thing, then stick in an oven preheated to 415.  Roast the whole thing until they are tender but NOT mushy.  20 minutes did it for me, but it will depend on the size of your thumb- ahem, I mean pumpkin chunks.

(Step 3 1/2- fry your bacon.  Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch strips before frying- it'll go faster and be easier in the end.  Don't let them get too crispy- then you can't put them on the toothpicks!  You can do all this while you're chopping and roasting, so whenever you want to make your bacon is fine by me, as long as it's before....)

Step 4- Cut your pork roast up into similarly thumb-like portions.  You could roast along with the pumpkin, but I was afraid that they would take different amounts of time, so I pan fried them in the bacon fat that was left over from cooking the bacon  Which turned out beautifully.  I added salt, pepper, cinnamon and cumin powder to the meat before sauteing.  Then you're left with this-
Pan full of beautiful "Pan Scab" and some bacon pieces
 Step 5- Use that delicious pan scab!  This is the technical part.  Make sure you wait until your pumpkin and pork are done for this part.  Mine was sitting next to me on the stove when I did this.  Don't let it go far!  Make sure the pan is super hot, then add about 1/2 cup of red wine and 2 tablespoons of sucanat (or any dry sugar- don't know about honey, if you use it let me know how it works).  Stir, Stir, Stir like crazy!  Get all that delicious goo into the wine, and let the wine and sugar get nice and thick.  When it starts congealing just a little, take it off the heat and pour it over the roasted pumpkin and cooked pork immediately.  It's too good too wait!  Plus, if you do, you won't be able to pour it.
Just about ready- it's bubbling, but as long as you keep stirring, it won't burn

Step 6- Prep.  Take your toothpicks and repeated puncture a piece of pumpkin, a sliver of bacon and a piece of pork.  Over and over until your serving plate looks like this-

Then Sprinkle your roasted Pumpkin seeds over top, and maybe a few roasted Crispy Pecans, if you'd like.  Pecans make everything better to me, so I did.  It just gives you something to scrap the plate with when the meat's all gone.

 Step 7- ENJOY!

A close up of the finished product- pumpkin, bacon, and pork- amazing!
Surprise!  My husband makes funny faces when things are delicious!

Linking up to Real Food Wednesdays!


  1. This is officially my new favorite picture of me.

  2. That looks delicious! We are going to a party next weekend and I know what im bringing! Thanks Brittany!

  3. deProfundis, it is my fav pic of you, too! And Britt, they were delicious!

  4. Sarah, did you get to try it? How'd it turn out for you?