I’ve had two sweet pumpkins sitting on my counter since October. I bought them for the sole purpose of supporting a new stand at the farmer’s market. The new stand consisted of one guy, a pile of onions, a ginormous bin of pumpkins and a hand-written sign that said “Real Farmer”. That sign was bold. I like bold.
So I bought myself two small, sweet pumpkins thinking that I would make pie or soup for Thanksgiving. As of January 2nd, I still had both pumpkins. I chopped one open and it was still lovely and fresh inside. The shelf life of squash is seriously incredible.
I made one of my pumpkins into a pumpkin and sausage stew following this BBC recipe. I wanted to keep things light, so I replaced half the sausage with chicken sausage and reduced the amount of butter. I think I could have reduced the butter further, but I will write the recipe exactly as I made it because it was pretty delightful. We ate this with skillet corn bread – recipe to come, once it’s perfected!
There are many substitutions you can make in this recipe to suit what you have on hand or to reduce costs. The biggest cost is the sausage, so shop around for something that works with your budget, or consider reducing the amount of sausage by a third. Dry beans could replace canned if you cook them ahead of time (I like the slow cooker for this). Dry sage can replace fresh. Boullion cubes and water can replace the broth. Fresh or frozen tomatoes can replace the canned variety. Butternut or acorn squash could easily replace the pumpkin – I find the small sweet pumpkins often cost 2-3 times more than other varieties of squash. Full cost information is provided below: all prices reflect the ingredients I purchased, not the suggested substitutions.
Overall, this is a lovely, versatile meal that I will certainly be making again. Enjoy!
serves 5-6 adults
40 g butter (3-4 T) ($.50)
6 Spolumbos chicken-blueberry sausages (the mini breakfast ones), cut into big chunks ($4)
2 Spolumbos spicy Italian sausages (the big ones), cut into big chunks ($7)
1 onion thinly sliced ($.30)
3 shallots, finely chopped ($.35)
2 garlic cloves, minced ($.07)
1 T chopped sage (fresh or whole dry leaves) (these were free for me, as I had dried some from my garden)
1 small sweet pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed. You will need about 2 lbs of squash before peeling and deseeding. ($2.50)
1 T white wine vinegar, white wine or any good quality vinegar ($.10)
7oz can low sodium chopped tomatoes ($1)
19oz can low sodium white kidney beans, drained and rinsed ($1)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock ($.80)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh flatleaf parsley – optional ($.20)
- Heat half the butter in a dutch oven or large oven proof skillet over medium heat – add the sausage and fry until golden brown (4-5 minutes).
- Add the remaining butter, onion and shallots, frying until soft. Add the garlic and sage leaves for another three minutes, stirring.
- Add the pumpkin and give everything a good mix. Turn the heat up to high and add the vinegar, stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Dump in the tomatoes, beans and stock; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Bring to boil, then transfer the pot to the oven for about an hour, or until the pumpkin is tender.
- To serve, ladle the stew into individual bowls and sprinkle with the parsley. Add a big slice of sourdough or cornbread on the side.
The total cost of this meal as I made it is $17.82. Serving 5 adults, the per plate cost is $3.56. I spent $11 on sausage for this meal, which could easily be reduced to $5, bringing the per plate cost down to $2.36. If you sub in butternut squash for pumpkin, boullion cubes for broth and dry beans for canned, you could probably knock another $3 off the top, reducing the per plate cost to $1.96.