Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Mocha" Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is a nice meat to work with because it cooks relatively quickly (due to its low fat content, it doesn't need a long braise or roast), and if treated properly it is moist and delicious. It is also amenable to a variety of marinades and sauces. I decided to try and be fairly creative with my most recent preparation. Although unexpected by many, cocoa is known to compliment pork very well. I decided to make a cocoa-based dry rub for this recipe. For the "mocha" aspect, I paired the cocoa-rubbed pork with an espresso-based glaze. This was a fun recipe that ended up turning out really well. Give it a try!

4 pork tenderloins

For the rub:
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp kosher salt

For the glaze:
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, diced
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp instant espresso powder

Start by applying the rub to the tenderloins.

Then, begin making the glaze. First, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and jalapenos. Let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cumin. Cook another minute. Add the brown sugar, espresso powder, and maple syrup. Reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer. Eventually, this mixture will become thick and syrupy.

At this point, we can get back to the meat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a cast iron pan or dutch oven, heat some oil over high heat. Just before it is smoking, add the tenderloins. Do not over-crowd the pan; if necessary, the tenderloins can be cooked one at a time. Sear each tenderloin about 2 minutes per "side" (you can just keep rotating every 2 minutes to cook on 4 sides). Once seared, put all the tenderloins in an oven-safe casserole. Roast 12-15 minutes for medium. Once removed, place the tenderloins on a cutting board and cover with foil for 10 minutes. Then, slice at an angle and serve with glaze.



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