Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jala-Cherry-Berry BBQ Sauce

I like grilling pork tenderloins because they are easy to grill in a short time and mix well with a variety of flavor profiles.

Pork tenderloins are easy and quick to grill.  My basic process for grilling pork tenderloins is 18 minutes over a 350f (medium) fire, turning them three times.  I try to keep the skinny tapered end away from the hottest part of the fire.  I like to pull them off when they hit about 138-140f internal temp in the thickest part of the tenderloin.   Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing to let the temp come up to 145f and the juices redistribute.  This produces a juicy and tender result consistently for me.

Pork tenderloins are flavor friendly and get along with almost any flavor profile, which makes them fun to experiment with.   You can use a variety of rubs, marinades, and finishing sauces.  Yesterday I wanted to try something new so I adapted the following BBQ sauce from Smoke & Spice.  I used a commercial BBQ rub (Billy Bones Original) for my dry rub.

A must have book for anyone serious about the art of BBQ.

Jala-Cherry Berry BBQ Sauce
Adapted from Jalapeach Barbecue Sauce in Smoke & Spice

1 cup Peterson Farms Cherry Berry Blend (dried cherries, blueberries, and cranberries)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup shallot, finely diced
1-2 serrano chilies, seeded and diced
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices, minced  (I used Hobo Howey's Jalapeno Treats)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp  chutney (I used Hobo Howey's Pineapple/Jalapeno Chutney)
1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp McCormick's Roasted Cumin
1/2 cup simple syrup (1:1 sugar/water)

To make the simple syrup, bring 1/4 cup of water to a boil and add 1/4 cup of sugar, stirring until dissolved. 

Also, roasted cumin makes a difference.  If you don't have the McCormick's, toast your cumin in a saute pan over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring until it becomes fragrant as it releases it's oils.  

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Simmer for 25 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Blend the sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth.

There are a lot of sugars in this sauce so do not put it on until the last few minutes of grilling and keep a watchful eye on your meat.  It is also a nice finishing sauce.

We liked this sauce.  It went perfectly with the pork tenderloin and would also pair well with any roasted or grilled pork.  It is fruity with a kick.  It had a nice thick texture but if you like thinner, you could thin it out with more simple syrup.


  1. Ok, the only bad thing about this post is that I don't have half of the ingredients on hand!! Wow, Chris, this looks and sounds absolutely fantastic! I'm sure you'll think I've lost it, but I could bathe in that sauce!!! :)

  2. Pork Tenderloin is such a welcoming meat for about any sauce. Thanks for the grilling tips.

  3. Wow, Chris, that sauce sounds heavenly! I love a sweet sauce with pork and when you add in the sassy little serrano pepper, you're singing my song. :)

  4. everytime i make my own bbq sauce, or any sort of dressing or sauce in general, i always wonder why i don't always make them homemade. it's always so much better! this look gorgeous, adn delicious!

  5. This really sounds delicious. I know I'd certainly love to have it for supper. This is my first visit to your blog and I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed browsing through your earlier entries. I really like the food and recipes you feature here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  6. I like the sound of this berry sauce! Goes so well with pork. You just inspired me - have an idea to turn my leftover cranberry sauce into barbecue sauce!

  7. Oh wow, that is absolutely making my mouth water. I could totally go for some for breakfast right now. And lunch later...

  8. I love love love the flavors in this sauce!! BTW have you heard that starting Feb 27th is Restaurant Week in Knoxville?? An excuse to try all the restaurants I've been wanting to try? Yes please!!

  9. Another post to send vegetarians into a spiral of self-doubt...

  10. Chris! I really want to try this sauce! Anything fruity with a kick and I'm in!

  11. Beautiful photos Chris!!!

    And a great sauce... need to give this a try. We are going to be in the 60's this week... First time on the grill for a long time, so loving the visit to your blog. Always the best inspiration!

    Be romantic, have a great valentines Day


  12. That pork looks perfect, Chris!!!!I love pork tenderloin, but I always cook it in the oven or on top of the stove.....I have to try your tips this summer!

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  14. Excellent Chris! Totally mouth watering! I know I've been missing too much over here with my sporadic blogging lately. I can't wait to have some time to sit down and enjoy all the recipes I've missed. I'm dreaming about the outdoor kitchen we are planning to create at the new house when we move where I will become the queen of the grill by learning from the best - that's you! :-)

  15. Oh yeah.. I love me some "flavor friendly" meat!

  16. I love the sweet spicy in this sauce. I wonder if I could make pulled pork with it...

  17. Looks delicious Chris - I have that book and don't make near enough use of it.

  18. My husband loves anything with cherries so I'm sure he's going to ask me to make this.

  19. Grilling season is right around the corner...can't wait! I will definitely be taking your advice and grilling up some pork tenderloin this season. This sauce sounds extremely flavorful. I bet the simple syrup helps to form a crackly crust when it caramelizes onto the pork - yum!

  20. Smoke and Spice is one of the first BBQ books around. It still is a wealth of information as far as I am concerned.

  21. A little sweet a little heat, a little pork. This is totally you! GREG

  22. I have been trying to get over the influenza bug, and as a result have not felt like eating or cooking. I can't wait to get my appetite back...this is the first thing I am going to cook!

    Kim in MD

  23. The meat is perfectly juicy and the sauce sounds fantastic.


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