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We borrow a sauce secret from Mexico: chocolate.

Dark chocolate is the secret ingredient in this meat sauce. A small amount of bitter, unsweetened chocolate is melted into the pan juices, enhancing the sauce with a rich flavor, deep color, and luxurious texture. Echoing the spirit of the Mexican classic mole poblano de guajolote (turkey in spicy chocolate sauce), this entree pairs pork with a complex sauce that only hints of its dark origin.

Serve the oven-braised pork slices with sugar snap peas and tagliarini mixed with sauteed shallots and chopped fresh mint. Pork with Chocolate Mint Sauce 1 boneless pork loin roast (3 lb.) 3 tablespoons olive or salad oil About 1/3 cup water 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 small onion, chopped 1/2 cup blanched almonds 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves 2 cloves garlic 1-1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate 3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds

Trim excess fat off pork; discard fat. Place a 12- to 14-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, then pork. Cook pork, turning to brown all sides.

Remove from heat and place pork in a 7-by 11-inch baking pan. Add 1/3 cup water to frying pan and stir to release browned bits; pour over roast. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, carrot, celery, and onion to pan. Stir over medium heat until vegetables are soft; add vegetables to pork.

Cover meat and bake in a 350[deg.] oven until meat is no longer pink in center when cut, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, whirl blanched almonds, mint, and garlic until finely ground; or crush to a paste with a mortar and pestle.

When pork is done, remove from pan and keep warm. Pour pan juices and vegetables through a wire strainer set over a large measuring cup; discard vegetables. Add water to make 1 cup, or boil uncovered to reduce to 1 cup. Pour juices into pan used to brown meat; set oer low heat. Add chocolate, stirring until melted. Add mint mixture, vinegar to taste, sugar, raisins, and pine nuts, stir until sauce thickens to the texture of whipping cream.

Thinly slice pork; offer sauce to spoon over individual servings. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipe
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1985
Words:392
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