Everyone needs a few recipes in their back pocket that they can pull out at any time. You memorized these recipes and you know them like the back of your hand, you have these ingredients in your house and can produce dinner in a flash.
I understand the draw when you get home from work, you don’t have anything in your fridge, you are starving so you reach for GrubHub. Resist! Takeout can be such a black hole for your money to go to die. You also probably tend to get something greasy, at least I do (who actually orders a salad?). Save your wallet and save yourself from feeling like a salt-filled mass!
My go-to recipe when I forgot to plan dinner is this Coffee Rubbed Pork Chop Loin. I tend to have the coffee grounds from my morning ritual stored in the fridge and everything else I keep on hand. Easy to put together and plenty of time to relax while it cooks in your oven.
Coffee Marinated Pork Chop with Coffee Rub & Raspberry-Jalapeno Sauce
Yield 2 Servings
⅓ C Brewed Coffee
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
3 Tbsp Water
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
¼ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Pepper
¼ Tsp Chilli Powder
If you are not stumbling through the door after a long day, scrounging the refrigerator for sustenance and instead have some time to plan your dinner I recommend marinating your pork.
Pork has a reputation for being dry, to fight that you do need to pay extra attention to the meat, prepare it when you can! When you have a larger cut pork you may want to consider using an acid in your marinade to allow the acid to tenderize the meat (thin cut meats tend not to need acid).
A marinade consists of acid, oil, and seasonings the meat will absorb the flavor so pick your combo carefully. What type of acid: lemon or vinegar? What oil will prevent your meat from drying out: flavorful olive or subtle canola? What are your aromatics: light thyme or winter coffee? Be sure to taste test along the way, if you expect to enjoy the flavors when all is said and done make sure you like them before you truly commit.
Place your pork in your marinating container, plastic and glass should be your go-to since aluminum will react to the acid and salt which will affect the meat. Since I was only making a dinner for two a ziplock bag was going to be perfect.
Measure out all ingredients into a bowl and whisk it up. Give it a taste, does it need more of one flavor? Take another taste and try and pick out what lays on your taste buds first. Everyone has different preferences, maybe I don’t add enough salt for you, or too much chili. Trust me I won’t be offended if you change this up to suit your needs. My mom was always moving through cookbooks crossing things out and making edits with her thoughts to improve them for her taste.
After you are satisfied with your liquid pour over your meat in your chosen container. Place meat on top of a plate or in a bowl, just in case there is a leak, and put into your refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. I put my marinade together before work and let it sit for 8 hours, that does not mean that the flavor was more enhanced, the marinade can only penetrate so far. For Pork loin chops 2 to 4 hours will be plenty of time for the marinade to do its job, however, the whole day will not hurt the meat since we did not overdo the acid.
When it is time, take the pork out of the marinade and blot with a paper towel. We want the surface to be dry so we can apply our rub and allow it to brown.
For Coffee Rub
¼ C Coffee Grounds, Brewed
1 Tbsp Red Wine
1 Tsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
¼ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Pepper
Stay with me here, we just marinated our meat in coffee and now we are about to add more coffee to a rub. I swear to you, it is not going to be overwhelming. I was worried as well when I was thinking of this recipe but it was a wonderful blend and left me smiling.
Our meat is ready, out of the fridge, out of the marinade, blotted dry, and coming to room temperature. If you decided to skip this step that is perfectly okay (I do on most occasions), thank you for tuning in now!
Set your oven to 350℉ with a rack firmly placed in the middle. Place your chosen (oven safe) pan, Cast Iron, on your stove top and set it to medium-high heat.
In a bowl combine your brewed coffee grounds (I save mine from my morning cup...or two cups), oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix this all up and slowly add in red wine, we don’t want our rub to be too thin, keep the consistency of a loose paste. Remember, we want it to stick to the meat and not run off while it cooks.
Apply rub to one side of your pork. Melt a Tbsp of butter in your pan then add your pork rub side down. I apply the rub to the second side while it is in the pan so I don’t lose it when it sticks to the plate. Sear meat for 3 minutes, add another Tbsp of butter, flip and sear the other side for another 3 minutes. My secret to not making dry pork is butter...butter...and more butter. Julia Child would be proud.
Once both sides are brown, place ½ a pad of butter under each loin chop as well as on top. The butter will drip down the sides and into the meat. Place pan into your oven for 25 minutes.
Once finished remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes. If you cut into the meat too soon all the juices will release and you can be left with a dry dinner.
Now...onto the sauce!
For Raspberry-Jalapeno Sauce
1 C Frozen Raspberries
¼ C Water
¼ C Red Wine
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Jalapeno, Diced
¼ Tsp Vanilla
½ Tsp Lemon Juice
I was sitting with my fellow swim coach and we were talking about my tendency to make a coffee covered pork. Before she was a vegan, her mother would make her the same thing but with a blackberry sauce to pour over top. I loved that idea, adding a bright berry sauce to your heavy meal and the combination of tart with rustic coffee seemed very appealing.
I took this idea and ran with it, choosing instead to use raspberries and I wanted to add a little heat so in went a jalapeno. I was left with this wonderfully bright red sauce that looked gorgeous atop the black pork. It carried lovely flavors of tart raspberry, smooth red wine, and just a hint of spice that hit the back of your tongue at the very last moment before you indulged in another bite.
While your meat is cooking, combine raspberries, water, lemon juice, and red wine into a small saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil, add salt, diced jalapeno, and vanilla then reduce to a simmer.
Cook over the stovetop for 30 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into a safe to handle container. Enjoy over freshly made pork chops.