Hunting season is here! Victoria Loomis, The Gatherin’ Girl, is a classically trained chef who enjoys hunting and gathering. She honors the effort it takes to bring a meal from harvest to the plate. Her Honey Habanero Pepper Glazed Pork Loin uses Cowboy Crust for the seasoning and Honey Habanero as the finishing glaze. Originally developed as a way to cook up backstrap from a hunt or you can use pork loin or pork tenderloin to make this recipe. The Gatherin’ Girl uses a simple brine technique to tenderize the pork for 1-2 hours before smoking this piece of meat. It’s a great way to cook up that piece of meat you harvested from last season or got this season. The espresso chile in Cowboy Crust infuses pork with a deep flavor while the sweet and spicy glaze takes this piece to the next level. Serve it with wild rice and a side of roasted veggies.
- 1 2-3lb pork loin or pork tenderloin
For the Brine
- 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 cup coffee
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ cup ice
For the Rub
- 2 tablespoons Spiceology Cowboy Crust Espresso Chile Rub
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
For the Honey Habanero Pepper Glaze
- 8–10 peppers (used jalapeno and a few small red bell peppers)
- 1 large green bell pepper, small dice
- 1 ½ cup palm sugar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup lemon juice (any citrus juice will work)
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Spiceology Honey Habanero Rub
- In a small pot heat, all brining ingredients on the stove until sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Remove from heat. Add ice. Place in refrigerator.
- When brine is completely cooled pour over pork.
- Allow pork to brine for 1-2 hours before cooking.
- Heat grill to 225°F (used the Super Smoke setting on Traeger for extra smoke).
- Trim pork loin, removing any silver skin.
- Mix Cowboy Crust with Kosher salt and generously cover pork loin in seasoning.
- Allow Pork to sit out for 15 minutes seasoned prior to cooking.
- Once the smoker is at temp, cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours (depending on size). Flip the pork loin halfway through the cooking process.
- While pork is cooking, make the Honey Habanero Pepper glaze.
- Remove pork when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
Honey Habanero Pepper Glaze
- Puree 8-10 peppers with 2 tablespoons of vinegar in the food processor.
- Small dice green bell pepper.
- Add all ingredients to the saucepot. Simmer on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
- After pork loin reaches an internal temp of 145°F, remove it from the smoker and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Slice and serve with a drizzle of Honey Habanero Pepper Glaze.
I utilized the backstrap (aka loin) from a wild boar I harvested in late April. This recipe can easily be translated to domestic (aka store-bought) pork loin or tenderloin with a few minor adjustments.