Pork Loin with Casabel and Grapefruit Sauce
A dried, plum-shaped, red chile, cascabels have a rich, nutty flavor and medium heat that make them excellent in sauces, soups and other cooked dishes. You can usually find them in specialty shops and Mexican groceries.
24 dried cascabel chiles, stemmed and seeded
3 cups water
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 cups grapefruit juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
1 cup orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
3 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
4 double pork loin chops
4 tablespoons olive oil
- In a black iron skillet, or in a 250°F (120°C) oven, dry-roast chiles for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking once or twice (do not allow to blacken). Add to water in a saucepan and simmer gently, covered, for 20 minutes to rehydrate. Remove from heat and allow to chiles and water to cool.
- Transfer chiles to a blender. Taste chile water for bitterness; add 1/2 cup chile water to blender (use plain water if bitter). Add garlic and purée. Strain into a non-reactive dish and add pineapple juice, orange juice, allspice and salt; mix well.
- Place pork in marinade, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove pork from marinade and bring to room temperature; reserve marinade.
- In a skillet over high heat, heat olive oil. Add pork and reduce heat to medium. Sear pork until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Pour off excess fat and oil; set pork aside.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). In an ovenproof pan over medium heat, reduce marinade by half. Add meat, coating evenly. Place in oven and roast for 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C). (Add a little water to pan if it gets too dry.)
- Serve meat drizzled with sauce from pan.
Makes 4 servings.