I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle not too long ago extolling the virtues of using coffee or espresso in recipes. Ever since that day, I haven't been able to walk past a Starbucks without thinking of dry rubs and marinades.
The Chronicle article gave a basic coffee rub recipe for a grilled pork; that recipe was the launching point for my own spicier version. And naturally, with all of the gorgeous stone fruit in season right now, I thought that pairing the smoky, aromatic rub with a simple fruit sauce would be a gorgeous complement of flavors. Happy to report that my instincts were right. Apricots won the spot in the sauce thanks to their vibrant color and subtle sweetness, and a robust French roast claimed the spotlight in the rub.
The finished product was a roast that was beautifully and deeply stained from the dark rub, but incredibly moist and flavorful. It was so good, in fact, even my dog couldn't resist from helping himself (and that's another story entirely... but for any of you that know my dog, you know exactly what happened). Canine belly aches aside, this recipe is smokin'! I suggest you give it a try, but keep it all to yourself (sorry pooches!).
Grilled Pork Loin with Coffee-Spice Rub and Apricot Sauce
- 2-pound pork loin roast
- Oil, for cooking
- 3 tablespoons ground French roast coffee
- 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat a gas grill on high or prepare coals until hot. If using coals, bank the coals around the perimeter once hot. Oil the grate and the pork loin. Sear the pork over high heat on each side for 3 minutes, turning only once. Reduce the grill temperature to medium-low, or ideally (using a multi-burner gas grill), turn off the flame entirely directly beneath the loin and reduce the side burners to medium in order to provide indirect heat. Continue to rotate the pork loin every five minutes or so; cook until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the loin reaches 150 degrees. Remove from the grill and let rest; the temperature will continue to rise. The roast is finished when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Slice and serve with Apricot Sauce.
- 1 1/2 pounds apricots, pitted
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar, to taste
- Dash of salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch