|(Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe)|
Made with many kinds of pork, usually in enormous quantity, Locro is an Argentinean specialty. I learned about this hearty South American dish from Graciela Casais, a native of Buenos Aires and longtime resident of Argentina’s wine capital, Mendoza. A mother of four whose heritage is Italian, Casais makes locro for Sunday supper in a 15-gallon pot for family, in-laws, and neighbors; everyone goes home with leftovers. This adaptation calls for three types of pork. Casais’s signature technique of shredding squash into the pot adds a lot of body to the dish. I season locro with hot sauce at the table, but the Casais clan, like most Argentineans, prefer more subtle flavors.
|1||butternut squash, peeled and seeded|
|1/4||pound pancetta, roughly chopped|
|1||medium onion, chopped|
|1||red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped|
|1/2||teaspoon crushed red pepper|
|1 1/2||pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes|
|4||fresh chorizo sausages (about 1 pound)|
|1||can (16 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed|
|1||can (16 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed in a bowl|
|1||cup pearl barley, rinsed with cold water|
|4||ears fresh corn, shucked, cobs cut into 1-inch pieces|
|Salt and black pepper, to taste|
1. Using a box grater or the grating attachment on a food processor, shred the entire squash; set aside.
2. In a large stockpot over low heat, render the pancetta.
3. Turn the heat to medium. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in crushed pepper and paprika. Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the spices mellow.
4. Add the squash, pork, chorizos, white beans, tomatoes, barley, corn, water, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, set on the cover askew, and simmer the stew for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until the meats and barley are very tender.
5. Remove the chorizos from pot; slice each into 4 pieces. Return to the pot.
6. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like.
Karoline Boehm Goodnick