Recipe By Chef John
Published May 7th
Prep 5m Cook 35m Additional - Ready In 40m
Servings 6 servings Calories 240.5

My favorite candy growing up was the chocolate covered cherry. The way that thin, crisp chocolate would break away to reveal the florescent red maraschino cherry suspended in the clear syrup was intoxicating. What about a savory dish that celebrated the same basic flavors?

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
  • 2 (1 1/4 pound) boneless pork tenderloins
  • kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup cherry preserves
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • 1 pinch dried oregano

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. 2 Whisk cocoa powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, black pepper, and chipotle pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. 3 Generously season tenderloins with salt, then coat in the cocoa powder mixture. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place tenderloins in the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook until browned on each side, about 4 minutes.
  4. 4 Transfer tenderloins to a baking dish; cook in the preheated oven until pork is slightly pink in the center, about 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
  5. 5 Whisk cherry preserves, vinegar, and oregano in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil and cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over pork tenderloin and serve.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 240.5
  • Carbohydrate 15.4 g
  • Cholesterol 81.9 mg
  • Fat 6.4 g
  • Fiber 1.3 g
  • Protein 30 g
  • Saturated Fat 1.9 g
  • Sodium 134.6 mg

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  1. The pork turned out beautifully however no one in my family liked the cocoa taste. We ended up scrapping off all the coating.
  2. We couldn't get enough! My husband recommended double the sauce and I agree! The pork came out perfectly; so tender. We used coconut oil in lieu of vegetable oil for a healthier alternative and added just an extra spoonful of cherry preserves than recommended. Thanks for sharing - this could easily be a "company dish."
  3. The pork and dry rub were excellent. I have to agree with others regarding the sauce. It was to acidic. I did add more preserves (I used black cherry)and oregano and it turned out fine. My husband loved it and he can be very critical. It is very simple. A great week night entrée. I - Read more ...
  4. I thought the pork itself was very good but not so crazy about the sauce as written. I m glad I tasted the sauce before I poured it over the pork. I made the sauce again substituting reisling wine for the vinegar. The sweetness of the sauce made with the wine and just a little - Read more ...
  5. Delicious. Didn't have straight ancho so used a Pensys chili pdwr blend with ancho in it. Also used apple cider vinegar and only a scant 1/4 cup after reading other reviews. Hubby said best tenderloin he's ever eaten! a keeper for sure.
  6. The sauce was unpalatable. It's good but something is wrong with the ratio of vinegar:preserves in the sauce. I made it as directed and it was inedible so I added more preserves. This was a big improvement but in the end I used the sauce to deglaze the skillet (oven-safe so I baked the meat - Read more ...
  7. Really tasty! I browned and baked the roast in a skillet. When the meat finished baking I let it rest on a plate. I then added the cherry preserves and vinegar to the drippings, warmed it through and it was fabulous - spicy and sweet sauce for the pork. Thank you for the great recipe!
  8. This was delicious. Yum, Yum Yum Tested it out to use for my menu for a dinner party I have every year around Christmas for 16 of my girlfriends. Still smacking my lips! Don't like cumin, so I left it out and used finely chopped rosemary in the Cherry sauce instead of Oregano. Make plenty - Read more ...
  9. Very good and easy. Plan on making this again in the future.
  10. Very good! The taste of the spices with the succulent pork made for a great dinner.