cocoa spiced pork loin with sour cherry sauce

Cocoa-Spiced Pork Loin with Morello Cherry Sauce

Last Updated on March 8, 2022

This tenderly delicious pork dish would be a great centerpiece at your next gathering. It’s rubbed with cocoa and spices to create a mild bitterness that’s perfectly complemented by the tangy Morello cherry sauce. If you can’t find Morello cherry preserves, experiment with any type of preserves that you like (blackberry or apricot would be good).

A gentle sear in a pan is all it takes to create a pleasantly smoky flavor (almost like an open fire char) before slow-roasting to perfection in the oven. If you have time, let the rubbed pork loin sit overnight in the fridge for maximum flavor.

cocoa spiced pork loin

Cocoa Spiced Pork Loin with Morello Cherry Sauce

4.09 from 23 votes
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Protein: Pork
Cut: Pork Sirloin
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8


For the pork:

  • 1 ButcherBox pork loin roast
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Canola oil for searing

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Morello cherry preserves
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 sprig chopped fresh thyme
  • Zest of 1 orange


For the pork:

  • To make the rub, combine cocoa powder, ancho chili powder, dried chipotle, and ground cumin in a small bowl. Set aside while you season the pork with kosher salt and pepper. Rub the pork with a generous amount of the cocoa chili rub, then tie it in about 6-8 sections with butcher’s twine.
  • At this point, if you have time, place the rubbed pork loin on a sheet tray with a wire rack overnight or for 6-12 hours.
  • Heat the oven to 200°F.
  • Get a large pan or a cast-iron skillet hot on a stovetop over medium-high heat. Add enough canola oil for searing the pork. Lightly sear the pork on all sides and be careful not to let it burn. The cocoa spice rub will turn dark immediately, so do a very quick sear, just enough to get a crust on the pork.
  • Transfer pork to a baking dish and slow roast in the oven for about 2-3 hours or until an instant-read thermometer reads 145°F.

For the sauce:

  • Combine the Morello cherry preserves, sherry vinegar, and orange juice in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until all ingredients are combined. Add chopped thyme and stir. Let the sauce simmer over low heat until it has a thicker consistency. Stir in orange zest and remove the sauce from the stove but keep warm.
  • When the pork hits 145°F, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Remove the string and cut the pork loin into serving slices. Spoon the sauce on top and serve with your choice of sides.
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Louiie is a chef, recipe developer, food photographer and stylist based in Las Vegas. While working the line at Bazaar Meat, Louiie merged her twin passions of the visual and culinary  arts. She has tested and developed recipes for Anova Culinary, Bon Appetit, and EATER.  She  also co-hosts and produces a food and hospitality based podcast, 2 Sharp Chefs and a  Microphone. She frequently shoots architecture, food, and people for Eater Vegas. In her free time, Louiie loves to turn her phone to airplane mode, travel, do yoga, cook outdoors, and  spend time with her naked cat, Dobby.