Roast pork with ancho chile, honey and cilantro sauce: Puerco al horno con salsa de chile ancho, miel y cilantro

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

If you don’t have the time or inclination to roast the pork, or you cook for only one or two people, try the sauce with pan fried or grilled pork chops. The coriander has a much livelier taste if you grind the seeds yourself in a spice grinder rather than buying it ground. If you are preparing this in Mexico, look for semilla de cilantro in the market, but be sure to ask for ones that have not been treated for planting.


For the pork:

  • 1 3-pound boneless pork loin roast
  • 3 large cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander, preferably freshly ground
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper as necessary

For the sauce:

  • 4-5 ancho chiles, seeded, deveined and soaked in hot water until soft
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste


With a sharp knife, make deep slits in the roast. Mix the garlic, ground coriander, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to form a loose paste. Rub the paste all over the roast, pushing into the slits.

Let the roast rest at room temperature while you pre-heat the oven to 400º F. Roast the pork at 400º for 15 minutes, lower heat to 325º F, brush with remaining olive oil and, using a pepper mill, grind pepper over the surface of the meat. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 155º. (See NOTE below.) This should take 1-1 ½ hours, depending upon your oven. Tent the roast loosely with foil and let it rest while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, place the chiles, honey and lime juice in the blender, with enough of the chile soaking water to move the blades, and puree. In a bowl, mix the puree with the chopped cilantro and salt to taste. The sauce should be fairly thick.

Slice the roast and spoon sauce over the slices. Serves 8, with leftovers.

NOTE: Although 160ºF is the recommended internal temperature for cooked pork, this is more applicable to fattier cuts. The loin has virtually no marbling and tends to dry out if cooked to this temperature.

Link to source article: Honey: A sweet Maya legacy.

Published or Updated on: April 2, 2009 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2009
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