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Aug 30, 2014
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By the Book: Mast Brothers’ Chocolate Cranberry Pork Tenderloin

February 4th 01:02pm, 2014




To kick off this month’s By the Book theme of cooking with chocolate, I explored Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook by Rick and Michael Mast. Mast Brothers Chocolate, based out of Brooklyn, N.Y., is one of the most progressive bean-to-bar craft chocolate companies in the country, meaning its owners do everything from sourcing and roasting to grinding and cooking. I was particularly excited to read this book after learning about Mast Brothers Chocolate while editing Ligaya Figueras’ story “Big Kids in a Candy Shop: How St. Louis chocolatiers are raising the bar”  in our February issue.

Mast Brothers’ chocolates have such unique flavor profiles that world-renown chefs such as Thomas Keller, Alice Waters and Alain Ducasse use them in their cooking. Even if I didn’t know that – if this elegant cookbook is any indication to the care this company puts in their craft – I feel pretty confident that its chocolates must be both beautiful and delicious.

Besides beauty shots of chocolate sweets, drinks and savory dishes, the book also includes the history of the company, the Seven Crowns philosophy that guided the Masts as they grew their company, and short narratives detailing the brothers’ adventures that inspired their craft (including sailing across the Atlantic on a schooner to source beans).





Although all of the chocolate dessert recipes looked amazing, I chose a savory dish because I’m always looking for ways to bring chocolate into dinner. I also appreciated how the directions and ingredients were straightforward. Besides cacao nibs, which can be found at Whole Foods, there weren’t any special ingredients or tools I would need.




It turned out that the directions were a little too straightforward. At times, I wasn’t sure what to do. The sauce called for 1½ pounds of pork chops as part of the reduction, but there was no note about removing the pork chops when deglazing the pan (I did.), or putting the chops back in for the rest of the reduction (I did.), or what to do with the pork chops after straining from the sauce (I’m saving them to dice up for tacos because they tasted amazing.).




The sauce also took a really long time to reduce, which wouldn’t have been a problem if I wasn’t so hungry, like crazy food-rage hungry. If I make this sauce again, I will start it much earlier in the night so I have the patience to reduce it into a more viscous syrup.





In the end, I’m not sure if I made the sauce exactly how the Mast brothers intended, but it tasted amazing. The subtle sweetness from the chocolate balanced the tartness from the cranberries, and the pork chops made the sauce rich and layered.





Chocolate Cranberry Pork Tenderloin
6 Servings

Chocolate Cranberry Sauce
1½ lbs. pork chops
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cups red wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup cranberry juice
½ cup dried cranberries
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
½ cup cacao nibs

Pork Tenderloin
1½ lbs. pork tenderloin
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Make the Chocolate Cranberry Sauce
• Cut the pork chops into small bits.
• Dice the onion and garlic and sweat in butter over medium heat.
• Add the pork and saute until pork is browned.
• Deglaze the pan with the red wine and scrape bits from bottom of pan.
• Cook and reduce red wine by half.
• Add the stock and cranberry juice and stir. Reduce liquid by half.
• Strain the sauce and return it to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
• Add the cranberries, salt, pepper, vinegar and cacao nibs.

Make the Pork Tenderloin
• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
• Season the pork with the salt and pepper.
• Melt and brown the butter and sear all sides until golden brown.
• Keeping the tenderloin in the pan, place in oven for 10 minutes.
• Glaze the tenderloin by ladling sauce over top before slicing.

Reprinted with permission from Little, Brown and Company

What’s your favorite way to use chocolate in a savory dish? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Mast Brothers Chocolate. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Adele, whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won a copy of Savory Cocktails. Adele, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew!



By Julie Cohen

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15 Responses to “By the Book: Mast Brothers’ Chocolate Cranberry Pork Tenderloin”

  1. Joe Says:
    February 5th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    It is hard to beat a traditional Mexican Mole as far as using chocolate in savory dishes!

  2. Angie Says:
    February 10th, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Chili – I love to put a little bit of bittersweet chocolate in my chili!

  3. peggie dean Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Always add a heaping tablespoon of good cocoa to my chili!

  4. Suzanne Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Topped or drizzled on top of buffalo chicken breast and a Belgian waffle. The perfect substitute for syrup!

  5. Carrie Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I’ve never tried chocolate in anything but a dessert! Would love to learn different ways!

  6. Harper Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Chocolate and pork are a match made in heaven. Combine with some select herbs and sear for a perfect crust and roast.

  7. Kathleen Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Chicken Mole. I don’t make it very often, but you can’t make it without chocolate and a good quality one always improves the flavor.

  8. Susan Taylor Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:41 am

    The bittersweet taste of chocolate is a complement for so many things, and I must admit my favorite is the addition of chocolate nips to a roasted kale salad. I roast the kale with a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce and add some golden raisins, walnuts, shaved coconut and coco nibs. Toss and slip into a hot oven until slightly crisped – a perfect winter salad

  9. Amy Wallerstein Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Chocolate in my chili is something my kids really find exciting!

  10. Nicole L Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Chocolate fettuccini, with peas and pancetta. My husband and I got a pasta maker for our wedding and have been loving trying different pasta recipes. The chocolate took us by surprise!

  11. Maggie Lou Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 11:40 am

    chocolate and pork is great but i also really enjoy chocolate with duck. I dust duck breasts with bitter cocoa before searing and finish with a cherry reduction – yum! also put cocoa (and coffee) into my chili which compliments the ground venison very well :)

  12. Sue Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Best use of chocolate is in the recipe for Chicken in Mole, Puebla Style from the cookbook: Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art. Just excellent and it can be done at home – just takes a while. If you are ever in Austin you need to go to the best Mexican food ever at Fonda San Miguel. If you can make it to the brunch – even better.

  13. Katie Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I love adding some chocolate to my chili or in a balsamic glaze over a roast!

  14. Raquita Henderson Says:
    February 12th, 2014 at 8:40 am

    I once made chocolate ravioli and put goat cheese in them, and tossed them with some dried cherries and veggies and a little brown butter.. it wasn’t bad.

  15. Lisa H Says:
    February 17th, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Melted chocolate on toast with butter and sea salt..don’t use sweet chocolate! This isn’t dessert…it’s pure chocolate with a perfect sweet/salty balance.

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