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…   😉