It all started with some leftover masa harina (special corn flour that I used to make chocolate tamale cupcakes). I couldn’t let that big bag of flour go to waste, so I decided use some of it to make corn tortillas with a hint of chocolate. Then, of course, I needed something to go in the tortillas. Coffee-rubbed pork tenderloin seemed like just the thing – and my husband Jonathan, who does most of the cooking in our household, was just the man to prepare it.
The coffee-rubbed pork tenderloin that Jonathan created is simple to prepare, but wow, is it good. The meat is juicy with a prominent coffee flavor and a hint of some of the other spices: a blend of cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, and onion powder. Although the slight sweetness of the chocolate in the tortilla is a fitting complement to pork, I would recommend this pork recipe with any type of tortilla or even on its own.
Coffee-Rubbed Pork Tacos Recipe
Note: Jonathan uses the 7-6-5 method (modified for the stove) to cook the pork. If you are interested in learning more about the method, check out the article on the 7-6-5 method on Fine Cooking.
Coffee-Rubbed Pork Tacos on Homemade Chocolate Corn Tortillas
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons ground coffee
- 2 pieces pork tenderloin each about one pound
- 12 tortillas ideally homemade corn tortillas with a hint of chocolate
- pickled onions or diced red onions to taste
- Cotija cheese or other Mexican cheese to taste
- fresh cilantro to taste
- limes for garnish
- Place the pork in a baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix the cayenne pepper. kosher salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground coffee.
- Rub spice mix on all sides of the meat.
- Cover the baking dish and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
- Remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature (about twenty minutes).
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) on high heat.
- Add meat to skillet and cook for seven minutes. Do not touch the meat during this time.
- Flip the meat and cook for six minutes. Again, do not touch the meat while it cooks.
- Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Cover and let sit for five minutes.
- Remove meat from the skillet and let rest for five minutes.
- Thinly slice the meat and serve on warm tortillas topped with pickled onions, crumbled Cotija cheese, and cilantro.
- Garnish with lime wedges.