Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Mesa Grill Cookbook: New Mexican Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Ancho Sauce


One of my goals while living in New Jersey was that I would try at least one famous restaurant. Of course finding one that was even remotely within my means was a ludicrous proposition to begin with.  I was originally considering Mario Batali's Babbo, but since pretty much the entire menu at Babbo is organ meat, you can see why I went to Mesa Grill instead.

After nearly scaring the pants off of my waiter by whipping out a camera (I think he thought I was a food critic), I devoured the pork tenderloin. Tender, spicy, and delicious...the sauces make the whole thing though.  The sweet potato tamale on the side was amazing, with its topping of butter and pecans. I was practically moaning as I ate, which I'm sure did not do anything to improve my reputation with the waiter.  And yes, the picture is from the restaurant, not my kitchen.  When I learn plating skills like that, I'll be really impressed with myself.

New Mexican Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Ancho Sauce
From The Mesa Grill Cookbook by Bobby Flay

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon pasilla chile powder
2 teaspoons chile de arbol powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds pork tenderloin
Bourbon-Ancho Sauce
Smoked Red Pepper Sauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Stir together the ancho powder, brown sugar, pasilla powder, chile de arbol powder, cinnamon, allspice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a medium ovenproof saute pan over high heat.  Season the pork with salt on both sides, then dredge in the spice rub and tap off any excess.  Place the pork in the pan and sear on all sides until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the pork to medium, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the pork from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Slice into 1-inch thick pieces.  Ladle some of the bourbon-ancho sauce into the center of each of 4 large plates and top with 3 slices of the pork.  Spoon more sauce on top, drizzle with smoked red pepper sauce, and garnish with chives.

Makes 4 servings

Bourbon-Ancho Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bourbon
3 ancho chiles, soaked, seeded, and pureed
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup thawed apple juice concentrate
8 black peppercorns
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
Kosher salt

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the 2 cups bourbon, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to a few tablespoons, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the ancho puree, stock, apple juice concentrate, peppercorns, and brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, return the mixture to the pan, and reduce over high heat to sauce consistency, 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the 2 tablespoons bourbon, cook for 2 minutes, and season with salt.  This can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated.  Reheat before serving.

Makes about 1½ cups

Smoked Red Pepper Sauce
4 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
½ small red onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves roasted garlic, peeled
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chipotle chile puree*
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup canola oil

Combine the red peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar, honey, mustard, and chipotle puree in a blender, season with salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.  With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified.  Strain the sauce into a bowl.  This sauce can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

Makes about 2½ cups

*Making chipotle chile puree - Empty the contents of a can of chipotles in adobo sauce into a food processor and process until smooth.  Chile puree can be covered and stored for up to a month because of the vinegar in the adobo sauce.

1 comment:

Deborah Dowd said...

I am not a big fan of Bobby Flay, but his food always sounds wonderful! Sounds like you had a great experience ,which is paramount when you pay for a meal out!