My father-in-law got the fun experience to work at a pumpkin patch this fall, and just loved it. But when the patch closed for the season they still had a ton of squash left over, and so they brought an entire trunk load of squash up to my house. I am literally up to my ears in squash right now, and the majority of them I have never heard of or seen before (or thought they were only meant to decorate front porches). I have been having a lot of fun finding recipes to use with the different varieties, and this is the first.
I really loved how this meal turned out. The pork chops were cooked perfectly (braising is an awesome technique!), the sauce was amazing, and I loved the mashed squash! It was so bright (the photos were not retouched here, that's how bright it was!) and delicious! I think I have only eaten winter squash with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, so it was a really nice change to do a savory take on it, and I really liked it! If you can't find a buttercup squash (they are squat and dark green) I am sure you could do this with another winter squash - a butternut or acorn would work equally well.
Smothered Pork Chops with Mashed Cheddar Buttercup Squash
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Keywords: entree pork winter squash fall
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 4 boneless center cut pork chops
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup sliced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/16 tsp allspice
- 1/2 cup canned petite diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 tsp dried thyme
- 3 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 buttercup squash
- 4 ounces grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350F.
Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
In a large oven proof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Cook the chops 2-3 minutes per side, until well browned.
Remove from pan, cover with foil and set aside.
Reduce the heat in the skillet to medium and sauté the garlic and onion about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Stir in the allspice.
Add the tomatoes with juice, chicken broth, vinegar and thyme.
Add the chops, as well as any juices that accumulated on the plate and bring to a simmer, spooning some sauce on the chops.
Cover the pot tightly with a lid (or some foil) and place in the oven to bake for 1.5 hours.
Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
Cut the squash in half (from stem end to base) and scoop out the seeds from each half.
Place the halves cut side down and cover with a second piece of foil.
Bake for 1 hour, until very tender.
Pull the skillet with the chops out of hte oven when done.
Remove the chops from the skillet and cover with foil.
Add the mushrooms to the sauce (and a little more broth or water if necessary) and simmer over medium-low heat until the mushrooms start to become brown and tender.
When the squash is done, scoop out the tender insides into a bowl.
Add the cheese, yogurt, salt and pepper and blend (either with a potato masher or a whisk) until well combined.
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