By: Brandie Wininger

Adobo Pork Tenderloin


Servings 6-8
Total time: 7 hours including marinating time 

In this recipe, you will make your own charred chili adobo using dried chiles. I highly recommend taking the time to visit your local Mexican market to get these ingredients as it is always fun to explore all of the different spices and dried peppers.

  • ●  3 dried guajillo peppers, broken in half and seeds removed (sharp fruity undertones)
  • ●  3 dried ancho chiles, broken in half and seeds removed (smoky undertones; dried version of the fresh poblano)
  • ●  9 dried cascabel chiles, broken in half and seeds removed (smokey nutty undertones)
  • ●  2 fresh poblano peppers, cut in half and seeds removed (a mild undertone similar to a bell pepper)
  • ●  5 red fresh jalapenos or fresno chiles, halved and seeds removed
  • ●  7 garlic cloves
  • ●  4 corn tortillas
  • ●  1 tsp Oregano (can use Mexican Oregano if you have it)

● 1 tsp cumin seeds
● 1 tsp allspice berries (sub equal parts cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg if needed)

● 3 whole cloves

● 2 cups freshly squeezed orange

juice (save orange halves)
● 1⁄3 cup dark brown sugar
● 1⁄4 cup kosher salt
● 2 lbs pork tenderloins, silver skin removed and placed in single layer in shallow dish

● Corn or flour tortillas for serving ● Lime wedges for serving
● Guacamole, roasted tomato salsa,

tomatillo salsa, pickled red onions, jalapenos for serving

Preheat oven to 500F. On a large sheet pan covered with foil, place all ingredients through tortillas, separating all dried chiles and poblanos to one side and jalapenos, garlic and tortillas to the other side. Place in oven and allow chiles and poblanos to char for 5 minutes. Remove them, place in a bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for 30 minutes. Return pan to oven and continue to roast jalapenos, garlic, and tortillas for 15 minutes or until charred. Remove from the oven.

In a dry small saute pan, heat oregano, cumin seeds, allspice berries, and cloves over medium low heat. Watch closely and shake the pan often to prevent burning. Toast for about 5-6 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a blender along with softened chiles, jalapenos, tortillas, garlic, orange juice, brown sugar, and salt. Save the rehydrated chile water to dilute adobo mixture. Puree until smooth. Add chile water as needed. It should be a paste consistency.

Pour adobo mixture over the pork tenderloins until completely covered and submerged in mixture. Add in orange halves. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to 12 hours.

Remove pork from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. You can either grill the pork tenderloin over a grill on low heat until internal temperature reaches 140F or in a preheated 400F oven for 18-22 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140F. Remove the pork from the marinade prior to cooking, keeping as much marinade on as possible, and cook/grill as desired. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, slice, and serve with condiments and grilled tortillas.