MoM Sept ’09: Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/Prune and Ancho Chile Sauce: It’s a Long Way to the Meh if You Want to Rock and Roll

So here is the recipe in all it’s glory:

Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/Prune and Ancho Chile Sauce
Courtesy of Bon Appetit



  • 4 large dried ancho chiles (1 1/2 to 2 ounces), stemmed
  • 1/2 white onion, halved through root end
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 pound pitted prunes
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup orange juice


  • 3 1-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil



  • Arrange chiles in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat; toast on both sides until slightly blistered and puffed, pressing often with spatula, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chiles to medium bowl (reserve skillet). Cover chiles with hot water and soak until soft, about 45 minutes. Drain chiles.
  • Meanwhile, place reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, tomato, and garlic to skillet. Cook until slightly charred, turning often with tongs, about 10 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Coarsely chop onion and tomato; place in medium bowl. Reserve garlic.
  • Place strainer over large saucepan. Working in batches, puree chiles, prunes, onion, tomato, and reserved garlic in blender with broth, wine, and orange juice until smooth. Press puree through strainer into saucepan. Discard solids in strainer. Simmer sauce in pan until reduced to 4 cups, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 days ahead. Cool, cover, and chill.


  • Arrange pork in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour soy sauce over. Turn to coat. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove pork from soy sauce; pat dry. Sprinkle pork all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add 1 pork tenderloin to skillet. Sear on all sides until brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pork tenderloin.
  • Transfer 2/3 cup prune sauce to small bowl; reserve remaining sauce for serving. Brush pork with some sauce. Roast until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145°F to 150°F, turning occasionally and brushing with more sauce, about 25 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes.
  • Cut pork crosswise on slight diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange on platter. Spoon some of reserved sauce over. Serve with remaining sauce.


See I think that looks dynamite.  I would think you would get a real depth of flavor from the prunes and the ancho chiles and the roasting of the tomato and onions.  I mean it even looks awesome:

prune ancho chili sauce

Ignoring the finger in the lower right hand corner, doesn’t that look all unctuous and umami and junk??  Well it wasn’t!!!  The dish as a whole was fine, but you really can’t go wrong with pork tenderloin marinated in soy sauce.  But the sauce was watery and blah.  I did use a pretty big tomato which might have made the sauce less rich, and I do admit the prunes I used didn’t taste all that great, but they are prunes after all.  I even let the sauce reduce alot more than normal to try and get that richness I was looking for.  No soup. 

Here is the finished product, with Roasted New Potatoes with Poblano Chile Rajas from that same article:

ancho chili pork

Yeah I know, it looks awesome.  And we ate it.  But it was a solid B at best.  Does this bode ill for this month’s MoM???  Fear not gentle readers, salvation is coming!!  And it’s from the same article as those two…. 

~Citizen Chef

4 thoughts on “MoM Sept ’09: Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/Prune and Ancho Chile Sauce: It’s a Long Way to the Meh if You Want to Rock and Roll

  1. Did you use freshly squeezed orange juice or something from a container? I’m wondering if the sauce would have benefited from halving the orange juice and adding a tablespoon or two of orange zest.

    Also wondering about the wine you used? I can easily see how a bad wine would have led to the sauce’s downfall…


  2. I used orange juice from a container, and the wine was a pretty cheap cab. I’m still thinking the tomato was the culprit, so substituting tomato paste there would help I think. Orange zest to replace part of the liquid isn’t a bad idea though. I would use prunes that are really dried out next time as well, the ones I used didn’t have that “raisin on steroids” taste I was after. Hell, actually using raisins instead might fix the whole thing!


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