When in Seattle…

…cook with coffee!

I was flipping through my really big binder of clipped and photocopied recipes (I say “really big” to distinguish it from my other binders of recipes, which are a bit less packed to the gills)…

…and I came across a recipe for barbecued pork tenderloin that uses coffee in the marinade AND in the rub! Here’s how the resulting thought process went: “Hey, I love coffee! Hey, I have a pork tenderloin in the freezer that needs to be used! I’m SO making this recipe this weekend.”

And so I did. It was delicious Saturday night, then delicious again as leftovers for Sunday dinner, after a hard day working in the back garden. Is their anything better than having really good leftovers to look forward to?

Barbecued Pork Tenderloin
Serves 8

Marinade Ingredients:
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon dark molasses
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed

Rub Ingredients:
1/4 cup finely ground coffee
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1.5 teaspoons sea or kosher salt

Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, add the pork. Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator for 2 to 12 hours. Turn the bag occasionally. Remove pork from bag and discard marinade.
  2. Prepare the grill, heating one side to medium and one side to high heat.
  3. Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl and rub over pork. (I had too much rub, but my tenderloins were a little small, I think.) Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  4. Combine sauce ingredients. Separate out 2 tablespoons of the mixture and set it aside.
  5. Place the pork on the grill over high heat and grill for 3 minutes, turning the pork on all sides. Place pork over medium heat, grill for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Baste with the portion of sauce you did not set aside, then grill for 5 more minutes (or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees), turning the pork occasionally. 
  6. Place pork on a platter and brush with the reserved 2 tablespoons sauce mixture. Cover with foil and let stand for 5 minutes.

Notes: I did not use the sauce because, in spite of having a pantry as stuffed to the gills as my recipe binder, the only barbecue sauce I had was a bottle of some stuff we got (from Whole Foods of all places) that we had already tried (we originally had two bottles) and knew it was grossly sweet (gee…could it be because agave nectar is the first ingredient?). When I make this recipe again, I plan to make sure I have better BBQ sauce on hand, because I would really like to try that portion of the recipe.

Speaking of sweet, you’ll notice that this recipe has molasses in the marinade and sugar in the rub. Yes, this goes against my two weeks of no sugar (officially over today). I’m still thinking about how much sugar I really feel good about consuming, but I have decided that it’s probably better to include a bit of sweetener selectively in recipes where it really adds something (like a touch of maple syrup in my collard greens), while continuing to really limit traditional desserts (cake, pie, cookies, ice cream, etc.). Like, limited to special occasions. Weekends will not count as special occasions.