This Pork in Peanut Sauce (Encacahuatado) is made by searing pork tenderloin and drenching in a spicy peanut sauce that will give your tastebuds so much joy.
The encacahuatado is a typical dish of Mexico that consists of a thick sauce of peanuts and dried chilies. This dish could have sesame seeds and certain spices like cinnamon, cloves, Tabasco and allspice. The sauce can be made with chicken, pork or beef, and always has garlic and onion. The chile used can vary: you can use chile ancho, chipotle, guajillo, morita, pasilla, and cascabel. This dish comes from Morelos, a region in Mexico just south of Mexico City.
This was one of my favorite recipes that I made at my Mexican culinary class. It is so delicious and made with cascabel chilies, which are on the higher heat range out of most dried Mexican chilies.
Why you will love this recipe
Full of flavor: The combination of the spicy cascabel chilies, onion, garlic and peanuts it everything you have ever dreamed of.
Great for any weather: I love making this during the summer and winter months.
Serves a crowd: It is very easy to double this recipe, so feel free to do so.
What is Encacahuatado?
Encacahuatado is a Mexican dish that can be served with any cut of meat like chicken, pork or beef. The main ingredient are peanuts, which are blended and mixed in a homemade red spicy sauce. This dish comes from Morelos, Mexico and it is very similar to Mole Almendrado. The difference between the two is that this dish uses peanuts and the other uses almonds.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Pork tenderloin
- Cascabel chilies
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Encacahuatado
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Remove the chili stems and add into boiling water, along with garlic and onion. Boil for about 15 minutes. When the chilies are done, add the chilies, onion and garlic in a blender, along with about 2 cups of its water and blend.
Meanwhile, in a large deep pan on medium high heat, add the butter and wait for it to melt. Add the pork and brown all over, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes total. Remove and set aside on a plate. Lower the heat to about medium heat.
Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the sauce through the strainer into the pan. You can use a wooden spoon and stir to get most of the sauce through. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes. While that simmers, blend the peanuts and 2 cups of broth, until the peanuts are completely blended. Pour this sauce into the pan, along with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer and add the pork back in. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the pork is cooked through, and the sauce turns into a yellowish color.
Pork: I used pork tenderloin because it cooks quickly, but feel free to use boneless pork chops, pork loin, or even pork sausage.
Butter: I used butter but feel free to use olive oil instead.
Chilies: Cascabel chiles are my favorite to use for this recipe. You could use also dried chile ancho, chipotle, guajillo, morita, or pasilla. If you remove the seeds prior to boiling, it will be a milder heat.
Onion: I used yellow onion but you could use red or white onion as well.
Peanuts: The peanuts are essential for this sauce. It is best to get previously toasted peanuts. You could also toast them yourself.
Cooking is a chance to be creative! Have fun with it and feel free to make your own variation.
- Spicy - you can modify the spice level buy the amount of chili seeds you add into the blender. Feel free to deseed the dried chilies before boiling for a milder heat.
- Deluxe - add ground cloves, pepper, or cinnamon into the sauce.
- Kid friendly - add crushed tortilla chips, or serve as a taco.
Check out my Mole Almendrado.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality.
This will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
This Pork in Peanut Sauce (Encacahuatado) can be frozen for up to three months.
Make sure to use a pork cut that cooks quickly, like boneless pork chops or tenderloin.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove