Chipotle Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Whiskey Cherry Sauce

Chipotle Rubbed Tenderloin with Whiskey Cherry Sauce

Oh, oh, oh it’s magic! One of my favorite things about fine dining in a restaurant is getting a meal that I would not usually tackle at home. Tackle is the operative word. The complexity and labor intensiveness of the recipe, special ingredients and the multitude of components involved in the plating of a beautiful dish can make it a daunting task. A little of this, a drizzle of that is just what the dish calls for but the recipe is for a much larger amount than a few plates need. The home cook typically is not running a restaurant or catering business out of their kitchen and the little touches that make a delicious meal amazing go to waste in our kitchens. When I can create a meal that looks and tastes like a restaurant chef was in my kitchen but it was just little ol’ me,  I feel like a super star! The satisfied sounds and compliments coming from my husband and friends are the best part. That’s the kind of recipe I have for you today. Make a super star reputation for yourself without being dragged through the flaming knothole just to get it on the table!

When I choose a restaurant, I always check out their menu first, then the reviews from fellow diners. I love food and the dining experience that much! Last summer we had dinner at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station with our friends Steve and Carolyn. The food was quite good and the restaurant and the grounds were beautiful with a bocce ball court, outdoor cinema space with lush gardens and water features inside and out. Semi spoiler – the water features not only flow under one of the tables but you have to see the outrageously cool bathrooms too!

Back to the food…..I had pork tenderloin over polenta with a fruit sauce. It was inspired and so was I! A perfect pairing of flavors and I knew I wanted to recreate an easy version of this at home. This thought rattled around in my brain for months and months but those thoughts kept getting interrupted with all of the year end holiday parties, meals and traveling. While visions of sugar plums danced in my head…I dream in food….cherries and liquor and spices joined in the dance. It was all starting to take shape.

When I am trying to create a new recipe, I get some of my best ideas in the slow waking hours of early morning while I am still nestled in my warm, cozy bed. I visualize parts of a dish, a cupcake, a drink and start to build on it. The pictures start to form, I take parts away and add other ingredients and start the pictures rolling again. And boom! It comes together and I am so excited I can hardly wait to make it. Short hand notes are  hastily typed into my laptop so I don’t loose the thread of the idea, and I’m off to the kitchen.

Some ideas are better in theory, some are down right dogs (no offense to dogs) and some ideas turn out to be so dang good I can hardly wait to share them on a plate with someone I care about. This recipe is what my foodie friends and I call “a real plate licker”! The spice rub on the juicy tenderloin compliments the slightly sweet yet savory cherry sauce, that has a little kick of it’s own. And when you get a forkful of the smokey cheesy polenta with the pork and cherry sauce, your mouth has gone to heaven! It is the perfect bite! I can’t begin to tell you how easy it is to make and how dramatic it is on the plate. Lay out the white linen table cloths because this is fine dining right in your own home! You can strut your stuff, have a party and not even break a sweat! Wish everything this great was this easy!

Now with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I have the perfect dinner planned for the sweetest man I know, my husband and my greatest fan!

Chipotle Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Whiskey Cherry Sauce

Whiskey Cherry Sauce Ingredients

Whiskey Cherry Sauce: 

Brown onions and garlic

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sauté until you get a medium brown caramelization on the shallots and garlic.

Add cherries, whiskey and sugar

Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. As promised, not complex!

Bring to a boil

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Simmer

You can make the cherry sauce ahead of time and reheat before serving. The sauce will get very thick when it cools but once reheated, it will thin out again. That’s done! See how easy it is! Killer restaurant quality sauce in minutes!

Spice Rub:  

Spice Rub

Whisk together all ingredients for rub and set aside.

Spice rub Pork Loin

Sprinkle pork loin evenly with spice rub and massage into the meat.

Rotate quarter turn

Grill with grill lid closed, over medium-high heat (400° to 450°) for 15-20 minutes total, depending on the size of the pork tenderloin or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145°. Rotate the loin a quarter turn every 3-4 minutes to cook it on all 4 sides of the loin, not just the 2 wide sides.

Let meat rest

Cover the meat with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes to redistribute the juices and bring the meat temperature up to 155°  for a pale pink center (carry over cooking). Slice into 1/2- 3/4 inch rounds. Easy!

Smoked Gouda Polenta

While the meat is resting, make the Smoked Gouda Polenta Recipe. Or you can make it ahead when you make the Whiskey Cherry Sauce and keep it warm. Everything can be done ahead and kept warm until you grill the tenderloin. So incredibly easy and such a spectacular dish!

Happy Valentine's Day!

To Plate: Spoon a mound of Smoked Gouda Polenta onto 6 serving plates. Top each with a portion of sliced pork tenderloin and drizzle evenly with Whiskey Cherry Sauce. Serve with a side of steamed broccolini or green beans. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chipotle Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Whiskey Cherry Sauce
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
406 calories
31 g
121 g
9 g
40 g
4 g
216 g
699 g
24 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
216g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 406
Calories from Fat 84
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 4g
21%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 121mg
40%
Sodium 699mg
29%
Total Carbohydrates 31g
10%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 24g
Protein 40g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
7%
Calcium
3%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Whiskey Cherry Sauce
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 small shallot, minced
  3. 1 small garlic clove, minced
  4. 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  5. 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  6. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  9. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  10. 1/3 cup whiskey
  11. 1/2 cup cherry preserves
Spice Rub
  1. 2 pound pork tenderloin
  2. 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  5. 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  6. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Whiskey Cherry Sauce: Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sauté until you get a medium brown caramelization on the shallots and garlic.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. You can make the cherry sauce ahead of time and reheat before serving. The sauce will get very thick when it cools but once reheated, it will thin out again.
  4. Spice Rub: Whisk together all ingredients for rub and set aside.
  5. Sprinkle pork loin evenly with spice rub and massage into the meat.
  6. Grill with grill lid closed, over medium-high heat (400° to 450°) for 15-20 minutes total, depending on the size of the pork tenderloin, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145°. Rotate the loin a quarter turn every 3-4 minutes to cook it on all 4 sides of the loin, not just the 2 wide sides.
  7. Cover the meat with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes to redistribute the juices and bring the meat temperature up to 155° for a pale pink center (carry over cooking). Slice into 1/2- 3/4 inch rounds.
  8. While the meat is resting, make the Smoked Gouda Polenta Recipe. Or you can make it ahead when you make the Whiskey Cherry Sauce and keep it warm. Everything can be done ahead and kept warm until you grill the tenderloin.
Notes
  1. To Plate: Spoon a mound of Smoked Gouda Polenta onto 6 serving plates. Top each with a portion of sliced pork tenderloin and drizzle evenly with Whiskey Cherry Sauce. Serve with a side of steamed broccolini or green beans.
beta
calories
406
fat
9g
protein
40g
carbs
31g
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Life of the Party Always! http://lifeofthepartyalways.com/
 

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