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Pork Tenderloin with Classic Molé Sauce

Pork Tenderloin with Classic Molé SauceMolé sauces come in various flavors and ingredients, with chile peppers and chocolate as the common factors.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
12 medium-size mulato chiles
6 medium-size pasilla chiles
4 medium-size ancho chiles
1/4 cup canola oil plus additional oil for roasting vegetables
4 plum tomatoes, stemmed, cut in half
1 small white onion, peeled, cut in half
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup peanuts
1 day-old slice of white bread
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces Mexican chocolate
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. Remove veins and seeds from chiles. Quickly fry chiles, one at a time, in hot oil in medium skillet. Remove chiles with slotted spoon and place in large bowl. Cover chiles with boiling water and let soak 20 minutes or until soft. Transfer chiles to blender container with about 1 cup soaking liquid and blend until smooth. Strain chile purée and set aside.
  2. Place tomatoes, onion and garlic in shallow baking dish. Brush with oil and roast in 375°F (190°C) oven 20 to 30 minutes or until tomato skins separate from flesh. Transfer to blender container with peanuts, bread and sesame seeds. Blend until smooth, adding some water if necessary. Strain purée and add to a medium sized stock pot with the remaining ingredients, the chile puree and about 2 cups of water. Simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens. Check seasonings and add salt, if desired.
  3. Meanwhile, season pork tenderloin with salt. Cook pork in cast-iron skillet over medium heat, turning frequently, until the internal temperature of pork is 160°F (70°C), about 15 minutes total cooking time. Let pork rest 5 minutes, covered with foil. Slice pork on diagonal and serve with warm molé sauce.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of National Pork Board.