Pork tenderloin is so versatile – grill it outside or oven roast it inside, and either way, it’s typically done in 30 minutes or less.
Pork tenderloin tastes terrific with just a simple salt and pepper rub, but it also goes with numerous flavor profiles. Sweet. Savory. Zesty. Spicy. Tangy. In less than 2 minutes you can whisk up a smoky BBQ, Cajun, Caribbean, Latin, Thai or Asian rub. Or my 3-in-1 sweet, smoky and spicy Cocoa Chile Rub. Deep chocolate flavor to compliment the smoky and spicy.
Want more pork versatility? Try pork tenderloin with savory chutney, zesty salsa and sweet or sour sauces. I vote for a sweet sauce to balance the spicy and smoky Cocoa Chile Rub, like my Triple Cherry Sauce. Cherries happen to be my #1 favorite fruit and this sauce counts toward your daily fruit servings!
Time to celebrate the goodness of this recipe:
- Weight watcher. Pork protein (about 24 grams in every 3-ounce cooked serving) helps fill you up, keeps you full and satisfied and therefore, helps curb cravings and prevent mindless munching and overeating. This helps weight loss and weight maintenance efforts.
- Muscle manager. Protein is critical for optimal muscle repair and growth day-to-day, after exercise and especially as you age. The latest research suggests spreading that protein throughout the day, so 20-30 grams at breakfast, lunch and dinner…not just at dinner!
- Monotony breaker. Attention gym goers and weight trainers! There’s more than chicken to help you “eat more protein!” There are 7 slim cuts of pork. And pork tenderloin is just as lean as chicken breast with only 2.98 grams fat in a 3-ounce serving.
- Processed with perks. This cherry sauce is a shining example of processed foods that provide big nutrient perks. Like canned, frozen, dried and 100% juices in the fruit and vegetable category. They’re just as nutrient-rich as fresh. Tart cherries contain natural anti-inflammatory properties, too.
- RQ. That’s short for restaurant quality, the term my good friend Rick uses for home-cooked recipes that are just as good as restaurant foods. My husband Jeff says this Cocoa Chile Pork Tenderloin with Triple Cherry Sauce is better than RQ!
Cocoa Chile Pork Tenderloin with Triple Cherry SauceAuthor: Kim Galeaz RDN CDIngredients
- Cocoa Chile Rub
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons ancho chile pepper
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground Saigon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 pork tenderloins (2 ¼ - 2 ½ pounds total)
- Triple Cherry Sauce
- 1 can (15 oz.) unsweetened tart cherries, drained and juice reserved
- ½ - 1 cup 100% tart cherry juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar*
- ¾ cup dried tart cherries
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Heat oven to 425°F.
- Whisk all rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Divide mixture between both tenderloins, completely rubbing, coating and pressing into pork thoroughly. Place tenderloins in large rimmed baking covered with foil.
- Roast pork until it reaches 145°F with an instant read thermometer, about 20 – 35 depending on tenderloin thickness. Check temperature regularly after about 15 minutes of roasting. Let pork rest at least 3 minutes before slicing.
- While pork cooks, make cherry sauce. Drain cherries and reserve juice. Add enough additional 100% tart cherry juice to make 1⅓ cups total liquid.
- In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into ¼ cup cherry liquid. In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch mixture with remaining juice, canned cherries, brown sugar and dried cherries. Cook, stirring nearly constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in mustard and vinegar. Enjoy warm or room temperature with pork tenderloin.
- Makes 6-8 servings (about 2 ½ cups total sauce)
[pinit] Disclosure: As a proud supporter of Indiana Agriculture, I’m happy to mention this is a sponsored post for the Indiana’s Family of Farmers. And did you know? Indiana ranks 5th in pork producing states.