Coffee-Chile Pork Tenderloin and Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

coffee chili pork tenderloin 2

I must confess to you all, I have made many more things in my kitchen lately than I have been sharing. I seem to not be able to keep up! There are several sweet treats and a soup or two that will be posted here soon…promise. It has simply been hectic lately, and after a day at work, I’ve come home and prepared dinner, and finally sit down to eat, my brain is done for the day. D-O-N-E. If I attempted a blog post after all that, it would be less than fun to read, believe me! It would go something like this:

I made this tonight. It was good. You should make it too. Yum!


So if my posts are discussing dishes that were actually prepared, oh, a week or two ago, please don’t judge!

For today, I am sharing with you a dish that I made Sunday night. Usually, Sundays are my “cook all day” days. However, I had little energy or time to spend in the kitchen this past Sunday. The requirement for dinner was that it a) be uncomplicated, b) be relatively quick, and c) only use ingredients I had in the kitchen, because I sure wasn’t about to go to the store.

Enter Coffee-Chile Pork Tenderloin.

My dear friend Suzanne turned me on to this delicious rub recipe from Ellie Krieger a while back that uses espresso and chile powder. She used it on a steak, and raved about it. I loved the combination of flavors, so I opted to make it, using what I had on hand – a pork tenderloin. What to serve with a smoky, lightly spicy dish such as this? I had several sweet potatoes from the farmer’s market, so I opted to serve them simply – mashed with a bit of rosemary.

This rub recipe certainly did not disappoint. The tenderloin was juicy and flavorful, and the rub wasn’t spicy at all. It provided a pleasant burst of flavor in every bite. At first I was slightly skeptical of how the coffee would play into the flavor, but it blends so well with the other spices. (If I didn’t tell you there was espresso powder in the rub, you would not have guessed.)  I’d be interested to taste it on a steak next time!

As for the sweet potatoes, you hardly need a recipe. My measurements below are approximate, so please feel free to add a bit more milk and/or butter to adjust to your tastes.

Overall, this was a perfect meal for a gorgeous Sunday night. My husband commented, as dinner was cooking, how wonderful it was to be at home, with all the windows opened (it was a breezy, sunny 65-70 degrees Sunday evening), and with the delicious smell of fall in the kitchen. I agreed. It was indeed the perfect setting for a lovely evening at home.


Coffee-Chili Pork Tenderloin, as adapted from Suzanne Collier and Ellie Krieger

1 T canola oil

1 1/2 t finely ground espresso powder

1 1/2 t ground chile powder, such as ancho or cascabel

1/2 t dark brown sugar

1/4 t dry mustard

1/4 t ground coriander

1/4 t garlic powder

1/4 t kosher salt

1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 lbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat a cast iron skillet with the canola oil, and bring to medium-high heat.

In a small bowl, combine all spices. Pour out on a plate. Place the pork tenderloin on the plate, and press into spices, rolling the tenderloin until all of it is covered in the spices. Let sit for a few minutes.

Place tenderloin in pan. Sear for about 3-4 minutes, and turn over. Sear again for 3-4 minutes. Continue to sear all over, and once you have made your final “flip” of the tenderloin, place skillet in oven on middle rack. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 150 degrees. (remember, the meat will still continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the oven) Tent with foil and allow to rest for 8-10 minutes, and then slice.

Serves 4.


Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes

4 T butter

1/2 t finely chopped fresh rosemary needles

1/2 c milk

salt and pepper to taste

Place diced sweet potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to medium. Allow to cook for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and cooked throughout. (I test them by stabbing a fork into a piece, if it slides in easily and the potato breaks apart, it’s done.) Drain potatoes. Pass through a potato ricer (one of my most favorite kitchen tools, it makes potatoes perfectly creamy and fluffy!) or use a potato masher. Place back into saucepan, and add butter and rosemary. Stir to incorporate. Add milk, a little at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.


Filed under Budget-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Pork, Side Dishes

38 responses to “Coffee-Chile Pork Tenderloin and Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

  1. No worries about dishes from a week before. As long as you share them with us, it’s all good in the hood!. ;-D With that said…those mashed sweet potatoes look good!!

  2. This looks and sounds so good and I do not even eat pork…..!!! I might justhave to try this!

  3. I just bought a tenderloin in anticipation of some house guests coming next week. This recipe looks so good, I think I’ll have to try it out on them. (Lucky guests!)

  4. Those sweet potatoes are talking to me!

  5. The espresso-chile rub gives the pork such a nuce crust–would be great on steaks too.

  6. Wowza! This is my next Sunday dinner. Looks amazing!

  7. tastyeatsathome

    Jenn – I have a soft spot for sweet potatoes. These? I could sit there and just eat them by themselves, no joke!

    Noelle, Debi, Almost Slowfood – Thanks!

    ValleyWriter – I was thinking that as I wrote the post – this would be a great “guests are coming for dinner” recipe. And it’s budget-friendly…most pork is relatively inexpensive.

    TastyTrix – They talk to me too! I wish I had more!

  8. That rub sounds fantastic! I do love the combination of coffee & chile.

  9. I want to eat this up! nom nom. Love the coffee rub.

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  11. wow this looks fantastic!

  12. I am very curious about the coffee rub, very curious, I never cooked with meat with coffee…Looks delicious.

  13. Shelly Huang

    Love the usage of coffee in this! And I’m totally with you on the posting things you made earlier – sometimes it’s so hard to keep up, and realistically, I only have time to cook on weekends anyway!

  14. That looks amazing. What a great combo. I totally understand. I don’t actually blog everything I cook. Sometimes it’s just hard to keep up and I’m not even working. So, I appreciate whatever you blog at the moment. You’re doing a great job because you’re also working and doing other things. Keep it up. I totally love the sweet potatoes

  15. Coffee-chile rub must add terrific flavors to the pork! Perfect with sweet potatoes!

  16. Liz

    Sounds totally awesome. I love coffee and I love chilli, so how could it not be. I will be trying this soon.

  17. Oh, the flavors!! This looks completely amazing. And those smashed sweet potatoes are calling my name.

    Gotta say, I don’t mind if you share recipes that you made a while back — the commentary is what blogs are all about. And it’s TOUGH to keep up! I think we’ve all been there.

  18. sound like a party of flavors in my mouth, this is just amazing. I love the coffee-chili rub you used on the pork tenderloin

  19. Oh! How interesting…coffee and chile for the tenderloin…sounds and looks yummie. The sweet potato with with rosemary must be very tasty 🙂

  20. This looks incredible and is right up our alley – pork and sweet potatoes. You’re the chili queen so I’ll take my cues from you. I use ancho chili powder quite often – dark and light. It just depends on what kind of mood I’m in and, sometimes, how deep in color I want the sauce or soup to be. My little tricks….

    I’ve been meaning to send you a tweet – I made a butternut squash tart with the same crust I used for the apple tart – and it was fabulous. Next time I might blind bake it for 5 or 8 minutes first, then put the filling in to get the bottom a little crispier. But it was still fabulous and looked beautiful.

  21. nutmegnanny

    This looks really delicious! I love the smokey, spicy and sweet flavors…yum!

  22. ooowwweee! when can I come over for dinner? all these flavors are making my senses tingle. yummy 🙂

  23. tastyeatsathome

    Amy – Thank you. A butternut squash tart, eh? That sounds awesome.

    To everyone else who commented – Thank you so much!

  24. This sounds so great and it’s making me hungry! Have you ever tried making your own chili powder? It’s really easy and gives a lot more flavor and control over what type of flavor you want. Just buy dried chilis in the Latino section at the supermarket, smoke them a bit in a hot pan, cool, pull apart and de-seed and de-stem them grind in food processor.

  25. wow this sounds like a really yummy combo I never would have thought of!! lovely pictures too 🙂

  26. Looks very good, I have never tried a rub with coffee before, but it looks very delicious, I know my hubby would love it!

  27. Alta! I LOVE the coffee rubbed in there! It looks so good. Oh, the sweet potatoes… I can just sit and eat the whole bowl! I miss having them. We have sweet potatoes here and there are not bad, but nothing like those sweet creamy orange ones!! Great job on the picture :o)

  28. Oh I totally understand about getting behind in posts – that’s why I usually use the phrase “this week or last week” so give a nice general idea of what it was actually made 🙂 Looks delicious!!!

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  30. Hi, just came here through chickenless kitchen…and I’ll be sticking around. Your food looks amazing.

  31. Ok, Alta – I made this tonight. I used a different cut of pork because it’s what I had on hand. And, I used agave instead of brown sugar. But, WOW, it was fabulous. It’s at the top of our pork recipe lists. I even think that I might make large quantities of this for Christmas gifts. It’s the best rub we’ve ever had. Will post about it soon!!

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  34. BEA

    Any suggestion for wine pairing? I am going to a restaurant on Friday that serves a similar dish…

    A very spicy Riesling could work, but the winter vegetables could ask for something denser… perhaps a Rhone?

    Let me know

  35. Don’t you just LOVE the rub? I’ve used this so many times and we love it every single time. And I LOVE the sweet potato pairing you have done here! So perfect! Excellent post and beautiful pic and presentation! Thanks for the mention!

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