Photo of Mexican Braised Pork with Pumpkin by WW

Mexican Braised Pork with Pumpkin

PersonalPoints™ per serving
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
30 min
50 min
Spend a little extra time in the kitchen tonight to make this fabulous Mexican specialty. It's a hearty serving that truly satisfies!


Corn oil

2 tbsp(s)

Uncooked lean pork tenderloin

1½ pound(s), cut into 2-inch pieces

Table salt

tsp(s), or to taste

Black pepper

pinch, or to taste

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, white, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Canned chicken broth

1 cup(s)

Fresh orange juice

cup(s), freshly squeezed from 1 orange

Fresh thyme

tsp(s), use 2 sprigs

Bay leaf

2 leaf/leaves

Sea salt

7¼ gm, divided

Uncooked winter squash

3 pound(s), use a 3 lb pumpkin

Dried ancho pepper(s)

1 pepper(s), large, seeded, soaked in hot water until soft

Sun-dried hot chile pepper(s)

2 item(s), such as small arbols, seeded, soaked in hot water until soft

Uncooked onion(s)

1 small, chopped

Garlic clove(s)

2 clove(s), large, chopped

Cumin seeds

½ tsp(s)

Black pepper

¼ pinch, or to taste

Roasted pumpkin seed kernels

2 tbsp(s), (unhulled), toasted


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Cook pork until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes; remove pork from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add onion to skillet; cook until dark brown but not burned, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add broth, orange juice, thyme and bay leaves to skillet; scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits of food on bottom of skillet.
  3. Add pork back to skillet. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover skillet, increase heat to medium and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated; set skillet aside.
  4. While pork cooks, place a large pot of water over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a boil. Slice pumpkin into 10 pieces and scrape out seeds. Place pumpkin in water and boil until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Place all 3 chile peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, black pepper and reserved pumpkin cooking liquid in a blender or food processor; process until smooth and stir mixture into mashed pumpkin until well mixed.
  6. To serve, place 1 3/4 cup of pumpkin mixture on each of 4 plates; top each with 1 1/4 cups of pork and 2 teaspoons of toasted pumpkin seeds.