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Ancho- and Chipotle-Rubbed Pork Loin

Boneless loin of pork is an extremely elegant cut, and was always a joy to serve. However, because it's also one of the pig's leanest cuts, in these days of extra-lean pork it's a cut that dries out especially easily. Here's a little more pork magic: we've found that by using a clay pot, you can nearly guarantee a flawlessly moist pork loin. Serves 4 Recommended wine: Sauvignon Blanc

SKU 752-Recipe

  • 4 Serves


  • 3 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 dried chipotle chilies (or 2 chipotles canned in adobo)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lard (you may substitute vegetable oil)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 boneless loin of pork (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 1 medium white onion, very thinly sliced


  1. Toast the dried chilies by putting them in a preheated 200°F oven for 3 minutes; you should smell them toasting when you open the oven door. (If using canned chipotles, toast only the ancho.) Remove the toasted chilies from the oven and open them up. Remove and discard the seeds and stems. Place the chilies in a bowl and cover with hot water.
  2. When chilies are soft (after about 15 minutes), remove them from the water and place them (or the ancho and the canned chipotle) in the work bowl of a food processor, along with the garlic, lard, cumin, cloves, salt, and pepper. Pulse to make a rough paste. Rub the paste all over the pork loin with your fingers. Cover the rubbed pork and refrigerate for 8 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator 1 hour before you're ready to put it in the oven.
  3. Make a bed of half the sliced onion in the clay pot. Lay the marinated pork loin over it. Cover the pork with the remaining onion.
  4. Most clay pots call for soaking the lid and then placing the entire pot, with food inside, in a cold oven before turning on the heat. Follow the instructions for your pot. In any case, the oven should be set at 300°F. Once the oven is hot, cook the roast for 1 hour. Do not open the pot. After an hour, remove the roast from the oven. Let it sit in its broth for 10 minutes. Slice the roast thinly and serve.