Ancho-Honey Pork Tenderloin with Cheese Grits

ancho pork1

I’m not much of a lover of dinners that consist of 3 plops of meat/starch/vegetable- I think they can be a bit boring and uninspired. I have to say that this meal however, was one of the tastiest ones David and I have eaten in a while. The pork tenderloin is basted with a mixture of honey, soy sauce, ancho chile powder, and other spices which makes the tenderloin burst with flavor. Add some creamy, cheesy grits and you have a meal that will wrap around you like a hug. I served this with fresh green beans that I quickly sautéed in olive oil (they should still have a bit of a snap to them) and sprinkled with sea salt. I won’t preach about grits, but stone-ground grits are the best. If you live in the Southeastern portion of the US, then you will have no trouble finding them. I don’t live in the South anymore, so I order mine from Adluh, which is a milling company in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. They are the best.

adapted from: Eating Well
makes: 2 good servings or 4 small servings

¼ cup honey (I use raw honey)
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/8-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
½ teaspoon onion powder, divided
1 pork tenderloin 1- 1¼ pounds, trimmed of silver skin
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup water
½ cup old-fashioned grits* (for quick grits, see below)
salt + pepper
2 tablespoons of butter, or to taste
a handful of shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 scallions, sliced

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Whisk honey, lime juice, soy sauce, chile powder, cayenne, and ¼ teaspoon onion powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

Bring the broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in grits and reduce heat to low. Let cook, whisking occasionally until grits are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Whisk in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cheese.

While the grits are cooking, sprinkle pork all over with the salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon onion powder. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the reserved honey mixture. Return to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers between 142 and 145, 3-5 minutes more. Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Reserve the remaining glaze in the skillet.

Slice the pork. Serve the pork with the grits, sprinkled with scallions and drizzled with the remaining glaze from the skillet.

ancho pork 2

 

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