Weeknight Dinner Series #2

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Pork loin chops in mushroom Marsala sauce with caramelized buttercup squash and steamed broccoli. 45 minutes


4 Pork chops, thicker the better
1 buttercup, acorn, or butternut squash
1 large head of broccoli
1 cup sliced mushrooms, cremini preferred
1/4 cup dry Marsala wine (optional)
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried
Cooking oil, coconut preferred
Salt and pepper


When cooking at home I rely on my trusty cast iron pans for many tasks. Tonight’s dinner was no exception. I always get them preheated over medium heat when I want to cook food and develop a nice brown crust or sear.

For this meal I am using both a 12 inch and 10 inch skillets for the pork and squash respectively.

While the pans are getting hot I get the pork chops out of their package and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Then I sliced the squash in half, top to bottom, seeded it, then sliced one half into 1cm thick slices for the pan.

By this time the pans are hot and ready to start cooking. After adding a couple tablespoons of coconut oil (whatever you have will do) I place the squash cut side down like a jigsaw puzzle to get them in.


Winter squash is high in natural sugars so they do get quite dark when they cook, don’t be alarmed.

Next add a couple Tbsp coconut oil to the large pan and get the pork chops in the pan. Leave them alone for at least 5 minutes to develop a good crust. You will be able to see the pork cooking from the bottom up as the meat turns from pink to white.


Give them a flip and let them go another 5 minutes or until all pink is gone from the outside edge. If you have a probe thermometer you can insert it from the side and look for 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer pork chops to a bowl to rest while making sauce, cover bowl with foil.

Check squash and flip if they are uniformly browned.

While the pork and squash are cooking get your broccoli separated into florets and into a pot fitted with steamer and 1cm of water with a tsp of salt added. Cover with lid. Turn on high until boiling then lower heat to med-low.

Slice a handful of mushrooms, I prefer cremini mushrooms, and once the pork is out of the pan add the mushrooms and stir around before letting them cook 3-5 minutes to get some colour on them.

Now add 1/4 Cup of Marsala wine to the pan and stir around while it cooks down to a syrupy consistency. Now add 1/2 cup chicken broth to pan and stir while scraping all the tasty bits stuck to the bottom of the pan into the sauce.


Bring to a summer and let reduce by half and thicken. Add the juices from the resting pork. Add 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves if you have them. If have dried thyme then add along with the chicken stock.

Now you can add the pork chops back into the pan with the sauce or serve the sauce on top.