Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2013, 9:27 am

Coffee is the secret ingredient in roasted pork

Comment on this story

By J.M. Hirsch

Photo: Associated Press
Cherry-topped coffee-roasted pork tenderloin served on a platter.
Photo: Associated Press
Cherry-topped coffee-roasted pork tenderloin served on a platter.
Coffee has become my new favorite ingredient when roasting meat.

It's an effortless way to add gobs of flavor to whatever I am making. All I do is add whole coffee beans to whatever spice blend I am using as a wet or dry rub, then grind it to a powder and apply to the meat. The coffee provides deep, rich flavors with just a hint of acid. It's a combination that works wonders for roasted meat.

I've tried the spice-coffee combination called for below on both beef and pork tenderloins; both were fantastic. You also could use it on chicken breasts or thighs for a "blackened" chicken.

The seasonings can be applied to the meat right before roasting. But if you have a little extra time, the flavor is even better if you rub the spices on the meat, then refrigerate it for several hours before roasting. And if you'd rather use these flavors in a wet rub, don't hesitate to add a little olive or canola oil to the blend.

If you're looking for a simple and speedy dinner, make the roasted pork tenderloin in this recipe and serve it as is with a side salad or some roasted vegetables. Or for something party-worthy (perhaps an Oscars viewing party), slice it, slap it on rounds of baguette, then top with a dollop of cherry jam. For the latter variation, the pork can be served warm or room temperature.