Sunday Rewind: The Ranting Chef wins Chopped! (home version)

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry BBQ Sauce….- Originally posted May 3, 2012

As The Rantings of an Amateur Chef has been going since February of 2012, there are quite a few readers that have joined along the way. In an effort to bring back some great recipes that they may have missed, I will dedicate Sundays to re-posting a favorite that is at least two years old. I hope you enjoy! – The Ranting Chef

Several years ago I went through a phase of watching a lot of the Food Network.

  • Iron Chef was my favorite. There was drama, good cooking and lots of tips that I could pick up.
  • Good Eats – Alton Brown’s masterpiece of oddball comedy, science and cooking.
  • The Next Food Network Star – I was able to put myself in their place and wonder how I would do.
  • Finally, Chopped!

For those unfamiliar with Chopped!, the contestants receive a basket of ingredients and they have to make an appetizer including all of the ingredients. Often the ingredients were unusual or would not be commonly paired together. The judges evaluate the food (taste, originality and presentation) and one of the four contestants gets cut at the end of the round. Then on to the main dish with a new basket of goodies. Finally, dessert.

About this time I was trying a number of different recipes, but wanted to branch out even more. I set up my own version of Chopped! at home. Between my wife and two boys one of them selected a meat (yes I am a carnivore!), another selected a fruit or vegetable and the last picked a spice or seasoning. Unlike the contestants on TV, I was not working against the clock and I had use of the Internet for recipes.

I think the first choice was chicken (nothing original there), mango and allspice. I made kabobs from ground chicken spiced with the allspice and served with a mango salsa. It was passable at best. I would have been lucky to move on.

The second round was pork (again, not branching out much), blackberries and barbecue. I found a recipe online for grilled pork loin with a blackberry barbecue sauce. I made it and prepared for a similar nondescript tasting. WOW! It was awesome. In fact, they family thought it was one of the best things I had ever made on a grill. (I still love the Diablo Shrimp, but this is up there) With this recipe alone, I won the challenge.

Photo Apr 07, 5 26 51 PM

Sweet and tangy.

There are a lot of ingredients.

I actually made tenderloins (vs loin) and as there was more surface area, I doubled the spice rub. Good coverage is important in a rub.

Ready to go.

Look at that beautiful sear.

I also used double the number of fresh blackberries in the sauce. Don’t skimp on the sauce.

Served with white asparagus (spargel) and grilled zucchini and yellow squash.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry BBQ Sauce


Grilled Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 (2-3-lb.) tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Blackberry Bar-B-Q Sauce

  • 1/2 cup blackberry preserves
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/8 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. white corn syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries


Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry BBQ Sauce

In a small nonporous mixing bowl, combine garlic powder, ground black pepper, salt, mustard powder, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, paprika and dried oregano. Mix well. Sprinkle tenderloin with mixture and rub in spices. Let rubbed meat sit at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Light grill. Cook tenderloin, turning once half way through cooking. Remove when the internal temperature reaches 128ºF for rare to 150ºF for well done. When the pork is almost done, brush Blackberry BBQ Sauce over the meat.

Blackberry Bar-B-Q Sauce

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well.

Brush over grilled pork tenderloin, pork chops or ribs when they are almost done (128ºF for rare to 150ºF for well done).


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Fruit, Grilled, Main Dish, Pork, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “Sunday Rewind: The Ranting Chef wins Chopped! (home version)”

  1. June 7, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    All great Food Network TV shows! I also like your idea of highlighting recipes you previously posted for your newer readers.


  2. June 14, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Thanks for the follow, I really appreciate it! Love your blog even though it constantly makes me hungry!


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