Friday, February 22, 2013

Cocoa-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

    Earlier this month, I hosted a Chocolate themed dinner club with my girlfriends.  The original plan was to make homemade chocolate croissants, but I was pressed for time that weekend and decided to stick with an old fave: pork tenderloin.  I read through dozens of cocoa-crusted recipes and finally found this one on The Daily Meal. I always like an excuse to try a new tenderloin recipe.

      I know I have talked about pork tenderloin before, but it is a nice meat that doesn't take much work and usually has wonderful results.  I was even excited to use a new meat thermometer I got for Christmas.   The recipe used a cocoa rub and a cherry sauce, so I prepped both of those the night before dinner club.  Then the morning of, I was ready to rock! Let's get cooking...
Trim up your tenderloins and lay out on baking sheet for a good rubdown
Heavily sprinkle on spice rub and cover whole tenderloin. You should be smelling of cinnamon now.
They look so innocent and unknowing.
Do a quick sear on both sides, careful not to burn the cocoa.  As you can see, I might need a new, larger frying pan.  Then place back on baking sheet and pop in oven.
This is the best shot I could get out of the oven, and although its nice and brown on the outside it was the perfect temperature and light pink on the inside. 
Once your sauce base is ready, stir in cherries and serve over pork! 
Here's what you'll need:

Cocoa-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
4 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil 
Two 2-pound boneless pork tenderloins
Cherry Sauce:
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large shallots, minced
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
8 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ cup red wine
¼ cup dried cherries
2 cup veal or beef stock
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cooking instructions

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Place tenderloins on a sheet pan and coat well with rub. Let sit for 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Once hot, place the pork in the pan and sear all sides until brown, being careful not to burn the cocoa. Remove pork from skillet and place in a baking dish and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

For the sauce:
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add shallot, garlic and thyme and sauté for about one minute.  Deglaze with red wine. Reduce red wine by half and add stock. Reduce by half again and add sugar and salt to taste.  Strain and set aside.  When ready to serve, heat and add cherries.

         As seen earlier at my Chocolate dinner club, serve up with some greens & veggies and enjoy!


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