Friday, October 7, 2016

Mexican Braised Pumpkin with Pork #PumpkinWeek

Here it is the final day of Pumpkin Week.  Boy, that sure went fast.  So many terrific recipes in such a short amount of time.  I can't wait to try some of them.  I have been drooling all over my computer since this started.

On the final days of Pumpkin Week 2014, I shared some Pumpkin Spice Cookie Blossoms and a Pumpkin Pie Martini.  Last year, I finished off with these adorable Pot Pies served up in a Pumpkin Shell.

Today, I am sharing a recipe from one of my favorite chefs when I am looking to make Mexican, Rick Bayless. This recipe comes from Rick Bayless's Mexian Kitchen.  Rick's recipes contain a lot of steps because each sauce is homemade and fresh.  You can shorten the process, as I did here, by using store bought sauces or using sauces that you have made previously and canned.

In this instance, I used jarred tomatillo sauce instead of using the directions provided in the recipe and just deleted that step and those ingredients used in that step.  I used a pound of pork stew meat because this was served as a main course for our dinner one evening with a side of rice and corn tortillas.

This is a perfect recipe for those days when you want to relax and putt around in the kitchen.  I put an audible book on and started prepping.

Cut the tomatoes in half and put them under the broiler to char.

Peeling and cubing the pumpkin was the most difficult part of this recipe.
This recipe seems to be more involved than it actually is.

Season your pork and sear it up in olive oil using a heavy skillet.

Add the seared meat to the baking dish holding the pumpkin.

Cook up the onions in the same skillet scraping up any browned pieces stuck to the bottom.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and add to the skillet along with any of the juices.
Pour in the salsa verde.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until thickened and reduced.

Pour the sauce over the pork and pumpkin.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake until pork is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes.
Remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes.

This stew had the perfect amount of heat for my liking.
All of the heat came from the salsa verde that I had purchased.
You can add more heat if desired or you can buy a milder salsa verde if you like less heat.

This made a very satisfying, healthy and hearty dinner.

Mexican Braised Pumpkin with Pork
adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

2 med tomatoes, halved
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. pork stew meat, trimmed
1 med onion, thinly sliced
1 (11 oz) jar salsa verde or tomatilla cooking sauce
1/4 c. water
salt and sugar to taste
4 c. peeled and seeded pumpkin, cut into 3/4" dice

Place tomatoes in a heat proof baking pan and place under a hot broiler for 5 minutes per side, until charred. Cool and then roughly chop, collecting the juices. Set aside.

Place the pumpkin in a 9x9" baking pan.  Heat the olive oil over med high heat in a heavy skillet, I used cast iron.  Season the pork with salt and pepper and sear it in the hot oil until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the pork, leaving any oil and drippings in the skillet, and nestle it in with the pumpkin.

Return the skillet to the heat  and add the onions.  Cook and stir the onions until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with their juices and the salsa verde to the skillet.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until thickened and reduced.  I let it cook while the oven preheated, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the water, taste and season with salt and sugar, if desired.

Pour the sauce over the pork and pumpkin.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 400* oven for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Print Recipe

Our Final Creations for #PumpkinWeek


  1. What an interesting recipe! I never think to use pumpkin like this, but I am definitely intrigued. I wish I could snag a bite!

    1. It was wonderful Carlee, the smooth creamy goodness of the pumpkin with the bite from the chiles and the flavor of the pork made it a perfect dish.


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