We borrow a sauce secret from Mexico: chocolate Essay

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

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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

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.


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