Saturday Dinner: Coffee-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

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Coffee and beef make for a very good combination, but I had never tried it with pork. If you’re going to make a rub or crust from coffee, you need to keep two things in mind:

  1. Grind it fine. The coffee should be there, but you should not feel like you are eating from a can of Folgers. It should have the consistency of dust, like any other spice rub.
  2. Try a light or medium roast. Dark roasts offer a richer flavor, but after hitting the grill grates, the end result may tasted burnt.

I blended one of Starbucks‘ Blonde Roast coffees with Symeon’s spice (a Greek spice that I’ve used here before), but any spice rub will pair up right in an even ratio.

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WHAT WORKED: Cutting the pork in medallions and letting the pork stand in the crust. It helps the meat cook quicker and the flavors have more time to infiltrate the meat.

WHAT DIDN’T: I used a medium ground coffee, hence my tip from above.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “I like this a lot.”

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: The next time I use coffee, it will be on beef. I think it pairs better there. I wanted to actually make a reduction with the F. Oliver’s Cafe Espresso balsamic vinegar, but I was afraid that flavors would breakdown (as sometimes happens with infused oils and vinegars).

2013-08-10 at 17-00-04Coffee-Crusted Pork Tenderloin
By Jared Paventi

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed of its silverskin
  • 3/4 cup fine-ground coffee
  • 3/4 cup barbecue spice rub
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (I used F. Oliver’s Cafe Espresso, but any good quality balsamic will work)

Slice the pork into 1-inch medallions. Set aside.

Blend coffee and spice rub in a bowl. Wet a finger and dip into the blend. This will be the flavor of the crust, so adjust any flavors at this point before proceeding.

Dredge the pork medallions in the coffee-spice blend and coat evenly on all sides. Set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining pieces of pork. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours uncovered. Remove from the fridge 15 to 30 minutes before cooking.

2013-08-10 at 17-00-11Ignite your grill and bring it to temperature. Grill indirectly 5 to 6 minutes each side, or until the temperature on an instant-read thermometer reaches 145 degrees. Transfer to a plate and let stand 10 minutes. Prior to serving, drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

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