I’m always searching for interesting ways to bring pork tenderloin to our table.  This preparation, with a dry rub of powdered trumpet mushrooms, coffee, and curry, turns humble pork into a feisty little beast.  The meat gets tightly wrapped, then rests in the fridge for a couple of hours (or more).    The flavors of this threesome synergize to more than the simple sum of their parts.  Funky, deep, mysterious… you’ll hear your diners asking… “what is this spice?”

I found the recipe five years ago in a blog called Foodie NYC.  To my disappointment, the proprietor seems to have vanished from the blogosphere – no activity since 2008.   Still, I highly recommend that you browse his blog, because all the recipes are original, not from cookbooks or magazines.  It’s impressive!

(from Foodie NYC blog)

1 package of dried black trumpet mushrooms (or dried shiitake)
handful of coffee beans
1 tsp hot curry powder
2 pinches of freshly ground nutmeg
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 pork tenderloin
1-2 Tbs olive oil

Using a spice grinder, grind enough black trumpet mushroom to obtain 1/4 cup of powder.  Reserve.   Grind the coffee beans and add 3 Tbs to the powdered mushroom.  Add the curry and nutmeg; mix well.

Dry the pork tenderloin (previously brined it if you prefer, but it’s not necessary), place it on a piece of plastic wrap and add the mushroom /spice powder to its surface, completely covering it.  Wrap it tightly and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Heat the oven to 300 F.

Add the oil to an oven-proof skillet and heat on top of the stove over high heat.  Sear the meat briefly on all sides – the idea is to seal the crust, not to make it golden brown.  Since the meat will cook in the oven, over-browning the crust now could make it burn later.

Transfer the pan to the oven and roast  for about 30-35 minutes (see comments).  Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I’ve made the full menu as described in Foodie NYC, serving the pork with eggplant puree and  pistachios, and it was excellent. But I also made only the pork and then picked different side dishes to accompany it.  For our dinner this week I served it with new potatoes, that were roasted in a light coating of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cooking conditions: Some people like their pork medium-rare, however my old-fashioned (in a good way…) beloved prefers it traditionally well-done, so I increase the time and sometimes also the temperature (350F).  Use a meat thermometer and adapt the cooking to your taste.

Note to self: play with other flavors… cocoa powder?   a little smoked paprika?  ground ginger?  Just don’t skip the mushrooms…   😉


  1. What a delightful sounding recipe, Sally. I have dried shiitakes, and am wondering about the weight of the packet of mushrooms you used, but I’d guess, anyway. 😉

    I must check out this defunct blog — eggplant and pistachios are two of my favorite foods!


    • Marcia, unfortunately I used both packages in the recipe, and I don’t remember the weight. They were small packages, after grinding the first and measuring, I did not quite have 1/4 cup, so I opened the second one. That was exactly what I needed.


  2. Marcia, glad you stopped by! You will probably be a bit shocked by his method of cooking the eggplant, but…. you won’t be consuming all that cream. I’d be curious to see if you like it, I was sold on the pork, but the eggplant puree did not deliver as much as I expected.


  3. Sally, I WAS surprised at the method used for the eggplant. I’ve steamed Chinese and Japanese eggplants (unpeeled) and they were delicious, but I think I’d do something else in this case.


    • I seem to be always stuck with the grilled eggplant motif… or roasted whole and pureed, but to use in spreads like baba ganush. I wasn’t too wild about using so much cream to steep the eggplant in, and thought it wasn’t worth the trouble.


  4. My mum used to cook tenderloin as little rounds which she would flatten to thin circles, then she would bathe them tenderly in sherry, and pan fry them with sweet paprika, mushrooms and at the end of this palaver throw in a carton of double cream. She hated cooking, this was her ‘one dish’.


  5. Wow, Sally, that really is an unusual recipe. I’ve never heard of the combination before. Our pork tenderloins are almost always rubbed in fennel, bay, garlic and salt. If I was making your recipe, I might substitute grated 100% cacao for the coffee beans – I’m a little caffeine averse – and I think the chocolate and mushroom flavours go very well together (in fact, I made mushroom and cacao risotto today for lunch!).

    Thanks for the new ideas – as always! 🙂


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