Grilled Pork Tenderloin in a Cherry Chipotle Cabernet Reduction

This is by far my favorite way to eat pork. The cardamom and cocoa powder really accentuate the delicate flavor of the tenderloin, when it’s combined with the bold flavors in the Cabernet reduction, it completely knocks your socks off.


The meat:
1 Pork Tenderloin
1 TB Kosher salt (Sea salt works too)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cocoa

The sauce:
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon – unsweetened grape juice, or “Fre – Premium Red” will work if you would like an alcohol free version. If you do go the alcohol free route, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to lower the PH of the sauce.
1 minced shallot
1/4 cup diced cherries – you can use any dark colored fruit such as boysenberries, raspberries, blueberries (my personal favorite) or cranberries. Frozen works too.
1/4 teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce (if this isn’t available add 1/8 teaspoon dry chipotle powder
1 Tablespoon of butter
Ground Peppercorn to taste

The steps:

1 – Trim all the silver skin off the pork tenderloin, and pat it dry using a paper towel.
2 – Sprinkle the salt, cardamom and cocoa liberally on all sides of the whole tenderloin and let sit for 30-60 minutes.
3 – Grill over medium flame until internal temperature of the meat reads 145 Degrees F when measured at the thickest part of the meat.
4 – While the meat is grilling, preheat pan and add enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of the pan. Add shallots and fry until tender.
5- Add the Cabernet, cherries, and chipotle to the pan and cook until the sauce has reduced to approximately 1/4th of its original volume.
6 – Add the butter to the sauce and whisk briskly until the butter is incorporated into the sauce. Then whisk some more!
7 – Grind peppercorns to taste.
8 – Once the meat reaches 145 degrees, pull it off the grill, and cover with one piece of a tin foil “tent” over the top (don’t wrap it, just slightly fold the foil so that it looks like a pup tent over the top of the tenderloin.)
9 – Let the meat rest for 10 minutes under the tin foil tent, and then cut into 3/4″ pieces.
10 – Top with the Cabernet Reduction, and enjoy the boldest flavors you’ll ever experience!

I can’t express enough how important it is to really whisk the butter when it goes in. The acids in the sauce cause the proteins in the butter to tighten and contract. If you whisk the butter through this process, the proteins in the butter will capture little air pockets and help thicken the sauce.

In the video I mentioned that I put in whole peppercorns. I REALLY like pepper. However, after others have tried the recipe, (People that don’t like pepper as much as I do) they indicated they preferred freshly ground pepper to taste.

I’m currently trying to tackle my nemesis – Pate Choux (AKA: Cream Puff/Eclair dough). Ever since I was 12 and tried to make the Better Homes and Gardens recipe for Eclairs, Pate Choux has been my enemy. I have yet been unable to create a consistent recipe. Sometimes they fall flat, sometimes they’re perfect. Be patient as I work to correct this challenging pastry, it may take a while! I’ve already figured out the recipe for a sweet citrus filling (it tastes like a dreamsicle), with a bittersweet ganache topping. If I could only get the pastry dough to cooperate!

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