Oyamel Pork with Red Chile Sauce

by AJ Dronkers, EdibleDC Digital Editor  "Media Naranja" with Fedencio Clasico, sour orange, habanero, egg white and bitters + "Puerco en adobada" local pork tenderloin w/guajon chile sauce, blistered cherry tomatoes, grilled asparagus and grilled green onion.

Last week, Edible DC previewed the Oyamel Tequila & Mezcal Festival, which officially launches tonight, March 2nd, and goes until March 15th. For $60, you can drink a variety of mezcal cocktails and feast on specialty dishes inspired by culinary team trips to Mexico. In particular, I loved the Media Naranja cocktail, a play on a traditional Pisco Sour where the egg white really balanced out the smokiness of the mezcal. We also got a chance to chat with Executive Chef Colin King about how he merges his internationally inspired cuisine with local producers.

"One of the many aspects of the menu that excites us at Oyamel is that we represent so many local farms. It's been a great learning experience to work with such passionate people who believe in the same goals as we do, which is being a part of an ever-growing community and network of farmers. An interesting spin is that our goat cheese and goat producer, Brad Parker at Pipe Dreams Fromage, helped us make the relationship with Rocky Hollow Farm, a group of Mennonites he distributes for who now provide all of our pork. It is very important to us to source locally and responsibly and it also ties into our concept. In Mexico, food comes from the local community. To be able to represent our local community here also supports the concept of who we are."

- Chef Colin King, Oyamel

Exterior of Oyamel restaurant located in Penn Quarter DC. (Photo credit: Powers and Crewe)

Puerco en Adobada – Pork with Red Chile Sauce

Serves 4


2 white onions, quartered

Peeled cloves from 3 heads of garlic

1/2 pound guajon chiles

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon manteca, or refined cooking lard

4 cups chicken stock

1 pound pork tenderloin

1/2 cup canola oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 bunch asparagus

1 bunch green onions

Kosher salt, to taste

Sea salt, for garnish

Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350° degrees.

Place the onions and garlic on a large baking sheet and roast in the oven until soft and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

To make the guajon paste, toast the chiles in a small sauté pan over low heat. Rehydrate the chiles in a bowl of hot water, covering the bowl to submerge the chiles. Once the chiles are soft, drain and reserve the soaking liquid. Combine the chiles with the roasted garlic and onions and cumin and purée until smooth, thinning it with the soaking liquid if necessary.

Rub the pork with 2 tablespoons of the paste and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Reserve the guajon paste for the following day.

Before cooking the pork, make the guajon sauce. Heat the manteca in a large saucepan over medium-high until smoking. Add 4 tablespoons of the guajon paste and fry until dark red, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Season the sauce with salt, to taste. Reserve the remaining guajon paste for later use.

In a large sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup of the canola oil over high. Sear the pork tenderloins until golden brown on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the internal temperature for pork reaches 145° degrees. Remove the pork from the pan and let rest on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan for at least 5 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup canola oil in the same pan over high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss until they begin to blister and are slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the asparagus and green onions to the pan and sauté, turning frequently, until nicely charred, about 10 minutes.

To plate, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the guajon sauce into the middle of 4 plates. Slice the pork into 12 equal pieces to serve 3 pieces per plate. Divide the charred tomatoes, asparagus and green onions among the four plates and place next to the pork. Drizzle each plate of pork with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

You can learn more about the festival and purchase tickets here: