On this day following Indigenous Peoples’ Day, consider making a “Three Sisters” meal utilizing their symbolic crops: corn, beans and squash.
These three crops were traditionally planted together, and through indigenous agricultural practices they protected and nourished each other. In turn, they nourished the indigenous peoples.
The recipe that follows incorporates corn, beans, squash and a few other ingredients. The dish pairs beautifully with a full-bodied Pinot Noir or a spicy California Zinfandel, and this recipe yields 8 servings.
THREE SISTERS STEW
• 1 pound pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• Black pepper, to taste
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 large yellow onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
• 1 medium yellow squash, diced
• 1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans, drained
• 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
• 1 (14.5-oz.) can chopped tomatoes
• 2 cups corn kernels
• 1 (4-oz.) can roasted green chiles
• ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Season pork with cumin and black pepper.
2. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
3. Add pork and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned on all sides (about 6 minutes). Transfer pork to a bowl and set aside.
4. Add onion to pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent (about 6 minutes).
5. Add garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until lightly colored (about 2½ minutes).
6. Return pork to pan, along with stock and squash, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
7. Add beans, tomatoes, corn and chiles and cook, uncovered, over medium heat until stew has thickened (about 40 minutes).
8. Add cilantro and season to taste black pepper.
Let the long Indigenous Peoples’ Weekend continue for one more evening!