Pumpkin and Pork Shoulder with Bacon and Onions Recipe

Stuffed pork shoulder
Foodcollection / Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
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Fall is the season of pumpkins, and while people are clamoring for all of their pumpkin spice flavored treats, we have found another way to incorporate this famous fall orange squash into your home cooking routine. Fresh pumpkin may seem an unlikely mate for pork butt or shoulder at first, but it works beautifully in this classically American dish.

The instructions are as simple as the ingredients. Fresh sliced pumpkin is sautéed with yellow onions in bacon fat before being simmered with chicken broth and spices. It is then added to perfectly sautéed pork. We love this dish served with sides of other fall favorite vegetables like fresh green beans and white rice for a complete meal. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 slice thick bacon
  • 2 cups fresh, peeled and sliced (¼ inch pieces) pumpkin*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup fresh chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into ⅛ inch strips
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. In a frying pan or wok, sauté the bacon until it is transparent.
  2. Add the pumpkin slices and onions. Stir around in the rendered bacon fat and add the chicken broth.
  3. Cover and cook over medium heat until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan.
  4. Reheat the pan and sauté the pork until done, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetables back to the pan and toss with the cumin, salt, and pepper. Cover for just a moment so that the flavors may develop, then serve hot.


    *Cook's Notes:

    • For this recipe, you will want to cook with fresh pumpkin slice, not pureed pumpkin or canned options. For tips on selecting the best pumpkins for cooking, be sure to check out our How to Choose Pumpkins for Cooking guide.
    • When cooking or baking with fresh pumpkins, an added bonus is harvesting the pumpkin seeds, which are full of zinc and make a delicious snack when roasted and seasoned. You can make toasted pumpkin seeds in the oven or microwave!

    Recipe Source: The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American by Jeff Smith (William Morrow & Co, Inc)
    Reprinted with permission.

    Jeff Smith was a well-known chef, author of several best-selling cookbooks, and host of the television series, The Frugal Gourmet, which first aired in 1973 and later moved to PBS to run from 1983 to 1997. In The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American, Smith's goal was to show that there is, in fact, such a thing as ethnic American cooking. Along with classically American recipes, this cookbook is filled with history lessons on the origins of the dish.