Ted’s Fiery Barbecued Pork Tenderloin

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 habanero chile, seeded and minced
1 tsp minced garlic
Two 3/4-lb pork tenderloins
1/4 cup cane syrup or unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a shallow bowl, combine the bourbon, water, vinegar, ginger, chiles and garlic. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Remove the pork from the marinade. Brush off any excess marinade and pat dry. In a small saucepan, boil the marinade over high heat until reduced by 1/3, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the cane syrup and ketchup and cook over moderate heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Heat the 1 Tbsp of oil in an ovenproof skillet. Brush the tenderloins lightly with oil and season them with salt and pepper. Sear the pork in the skillet over high heat, turning occasionally until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the barbecue sauce over the pork and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through., turning the meat in the sauce. Transfer the pork to a work surface, cover with foil and let stand for at least 5 minutes. Thickly slice the meat across the grain and serve with any remaining sauce.

The barbecued pork can be refrigerated and sliced the next day for sandwiches.

Serves 6.

By Ted Lee, foodandwine.com