new mexican rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon-ancho sauce

by Amy on 13 December 2010

as you may remember, my parents visited us from boston recently + one of the nights they were here, we all cooked a fantastic meal together. the star of the meal was bobby flay’s new mexican spice-rubbed pork tenderloin with a bourbon-ancho sauce drizzled over it. while i have made many of bobby flay’s dishes, this was the first time i had tried this recipe + it was perfection!

i was shocked at how easy the pork itself was to make. it’s unbelievably quick + simple, with its easy-to-assemble spice rub + basic cooking techniques (dredging, searing, + oven-baking). the bourbon-ancho sauce was a bit more complex, though absolutely worth the effort. at the last minute, i could not find ancho chiles, so i substituted ancho chile powder instead (1 tablespoon for each chile). also, make sure to account for how long the bourbon-ancho sauce takes to make – it needs to cook down quite a bit, so plan accordingly + start it well in advance!

we served this excellent pork with creamy polenta with cotija cheese + blackened green beans, both which will be featured on the blog in the future. until then, i highly recommend this pork tenderloin recipe for those of you who like spicy, southwestern dishes – it is amazing!

new mexican rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon-ancho sauce

serves 4-6, adapted from bobby flay’s mesa grill cookbook

ingredients (for the new mexican spice rub)

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon pasilla chile powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chile de arbol
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice

directions (for the spice rub)

combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

ingredients (for the bourbon-ancho sauce)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bourbon
3 ancho chiles, soaked, seeded, stems removed + pureed
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
8 whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup light brown sugar

directions (for the bourbon-ancho sauce)

heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. add the onions + cook until soft. add the bourbon + cook until reduced to a few tablespoons. add the remaining ingredients and cook until reduced by half.

strain through a fine mesh strainer, return mixture to the pan + cook to sauce consistency, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon + cook for 2 minutes; season with salt.

for the pork tenderloin

ingredients (for the pork tenderloin)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lb pork tenderloin
new mexican spice rub (see above)

directions (for the pork tenderloin)

preheat oven to 400 degrees. heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over high heat. season pork with salt on both sides. dredge pork in the spice rub + tap off any excess. sear the pork on both sides until golden brown. cook in the oven to medium doneness, about 8-10 minutes.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nashville Nosher December 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

yum! Meat is one thing that I am not too great at cooking..always seem to make it too tough/dry, or not cooked enough! I’d love to master meat :) this looks like a recipe I may be able to conquer!

2 amy December 13, 2010 at 10:44 am

since i was a vegetarian for so long, there are a lot of meats that i still have never tried making! i think pork tenderloin is one of the easiest to cook, so you should definitely try this recipe. =) also, any type of slow-cooked/braised meat is a good choice, since it’s really hard to overcook it – like pot roast or pork shoulder. we’ve finally perfected cooking steak to medium doneness on the grill, but i admit we had a lot of both overcooked + under-done filets before we finally got it right. good luck!

3 carrie crompton December 13, 2010 at 10:57 am

Hi Amy, this pork tenderloin looks amazing. I love pork. I love all of your tasty emails in the morning. It is the highlight of my morning. Keep up the amazing blog posting.

I’m still messing with my blog about life with Rand, still need a good name….

Also, I know you would like this… so I have all of the little brass pineapple tags that came on all of our Williams Sonoma wedding presents. I have two little fake trees, so I made my kitchen trees this year. I used the pineapple tags as ornaments and they look precious. I will email you a picture because they turned out really cute and it made me think of you and your crafty ways.

xoxo, Carrie

4 amy December 13, 2010 at 11:26 am

carrie, you are too sweet! i’m so glad that you like the blog – that makes me feel wonderful.

oooh, what a cute idea with the williams-sonoma pineapples – i’ve always loved those but never knew what to do with them + you came up with a really chic idea. i’d love to see a picture! i also like it because the pineapple is traditionally a symbol of hospitality, so it works perfectly in your kitchen, which for many is really the heart of the home (it is here!)

can’t wait ’til you have your blog up! you know i’ll be an avid reader. =)

5 Sara @ Saucy Dipper January 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I agree – you can’t go wrong with slow-cooked meat. A slow pork is one of my favorite dinners. And your sauce…your sauce!!!! This looks amazing.

6 amy January 13, 2011 at 8:12 am

it is amazing! any sauce that has over 2 cups of bourbon in there is *bound* to be delicious, after all. =)

7 Dave R. February 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

This sounds fantastic. Thanks for posting the details. Is there a suitable substitution for Pasilla chile powder? I do not think my local Penzey’s sells that one.

8 amy February 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm

you can substitute ancho chile powder (which you can get at most supermarkets), although the flavor profile will be slightly different. i also read that you can substitute crumbled pasilla chiles, although i’ve never tried that, so i can’t vouch for it personally.

also, are you one of the lucky few who have an actual penzey’s nearby? i just read + reread the catalogue – i still haven’t been in one of the stores!

9 dave r February 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Amy, Thanks for the note about the ancho.

There is a Penzey’s 5 minutes from my house and another store 5 minutes from my office. I’m not sure if that is a blessing or a curse though because every time I travel somewhere people are like, “Oh, Oh! Here is my list of 20 things I need from Penzey’s.” I have even been on a tour of the original Penzey’s factory. That was really cool.

By the way, when I first saw the URL to your bog I thought it said fearlessshoemaker and I thought why would a shoe maker be posting a recipe for pork tenderloin? :-)

Thanks again – Dave

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