This was BY FAR my favorite part of my 24×24 menu. My mouth was watering just looking at the ingredient list. Pork loin? Yes please. Chile powders? Thank you. Bourbon? Heck yes! I had a good feeling Bobby Flay wouldn’t disappoint me, but once I had the sauce made, one taste told me this dish was certain to exceed my expectations.
I made a few slight modifications to Flay’s original recipe, mostly so I could complete as much of it the day before my party. I have to say, with the adaptations, I could now see making this for a weeknight meal!
New Mexican Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Ancho Sauce
adapted from Bobby Flay, Mesa Grill Cookbook
For the sauce:
2 TBSP olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 c. plus 2 TBSP bourbon
3 ancho chiles, soaked, seeded, stemmed, and pureed
5 c. chicken stock
1 c. apple juice concentrate, thawed
8 whole black peppercorns
1/4 c. light brown sugar
salt, to taste
1 tsp. cornstarch, if necessary
For pork loin:
3 TBSP ancho chile powder
2 TBSP light brown sugar
1 TBSP pasilla or chipotle chile powder
2 tsp. chile de arbol powder (Cayenne will work if you can’t find it)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. allspice
2 lb. pork tenderloin
2 TBSP oilve oil
chives, for garnish
1. To prepare the sauce, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about four minutes. Add the bourbon and cook until reduced to a few tablespoons, 5-6 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until reduced by half, approximately 10-12 minutes.
3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, then return mixture to the pan and cook to sauce consistency, 10-15 minutes. If sauce isn’t thickening, make a slurry with cornstarch and a couple of teaspoons of water. Add to sauce and cook three minutes more. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon and cook for 2 minutes; season with salt. Can be made one day ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
4. To create spice mix, combine all ingredients, ancho powder through allspice, in a small bowl.
5. Sprinkle spice rub over pork loin, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.
6. To cook the pork loin, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat olive oil in a medium ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides, 8-10 minutes total. Transfer pan to oven and roast pork until medium, 10-12 minutes.
7. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest five minutes before slicing into one-inch pieces. Ladle some of the sauce onto individual plates or serving platter. Place pork pieces in the pool, drizzle with more sauce, and garnish with chives.