Pork Tenderloin with Mole Sauce

This is a wonderful dish – the aroma that fills the kitchen, and even the house, while you are browning the pork and roasting it is enough to make my vegetarian daughter to say “What smells so good?!?”.

I love Mexican food, real Mexican food. Tex-Mex is okay, too, but the real thing… that is truly mouth watering. I have had trouble finding some of the ingredients but plan on visiting some specialty shops in Toronto, where I am sure I will be able to find everything.

This is recipe is adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks. The Wine Lover’s Cookbook has wonderful recipes, all paired with wines and that, in my book, makes them all winners. If you like Italian food, The Wine Lover Cooks Italian is also fantastic.

I also made a Mexican Rice, from the same book, to go with this and it worked perfectly.

Belle notes: Pork isn’t one of my favourite dishes, but this was an excellent entrée. The mole sauce was fabulous, with a rich, dark, almost smoky chocolate taste, and the pork itself was very tender and succulent. Definitely a winning recipe in my books!

Roast Pork with Holy Mole Sauce

2 pork loins, rolled and tied
kosher salt
crushed black peppercorns (mortar and pestle)
ground cinnamon
ground cumin
dried oregano
ground sage
3 tbsp olive oil

Mole
1-1/2 cups onions, sliced
1-1/2 tbsp garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed (mortar and pestle)
1-1/2 tbsp dried red chili, seeded
1 tbsp chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
3-1/2 cups free-range chicken stock
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
4-1/2 tbsp tomato paste
2-1/4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp organic lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

The original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp of this and 1/4 tsp of that, but I just pulled out the spice bottles, used the shaker opening and shook some on the pork with one hand, rubbed it in with the other hand, flipped over and repeated. Went to the next spice and repeated until done. I did not measure anything. Sorry. It just seemed like too much fun to just wing it and shake some on and rub it in. If there was too much, it would fall off anyway.

The roasts, ready for the oven

Pork Roast

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Rub the pork loin on all sides with the salt, crushed black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, sage.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Sear and brown all sides and ends of the pork loins (to brown the ends use a pair of tongs to hold the pork upright).
  5. Transfer the pork to a baking dish and reserve the pan and cooking oil for the mole sauce.
  6. Roast the pork for 1 1/2 hours (internal temperature of 165 degrees F).
  7. Remove the pork and let rest.

Mole

  1. Using the same pan the pork was seared in, sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add the cinnamon, cloves, coriander, chili, chipotle and cilantro and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Onion, garlic and spice mixture
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour into a blender and pulse a few times (place a folded up dish towel over the top of the blender and hold down tight to prevent the hot liquid from coming out).
  5. Add the peanut butter, tomato paste, chocolate and lime juice to the blender mixture and blend until smooth, again with the dish towel on top.
  6. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and simmer, covered, for 35 – 40 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick you can thin with additional stock.
  7. Season to taste.
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