Cocoa Pork Rub

July 24, 2012 at 15:25

Little Miss Sicky Poo


My latest cooking obsession has become meat rubs.  They are so easy and pack so much flavor!  If you’re into spices and you’ve got a cabinet jammed packed full of them, rubs are a good option when you’re just not sure what to do with that cut of meat.  I recently had a beautiful pork tenderloin that I wasn’t sure what to do with.  Oddly at that very same moment, I was craving chocolate.  Ok…well…it’s not really that unusual since I probably think about chocolate several times daily.

Anyhow, I decided, just for kicks to do a Google search for a cocoa rub.  I laughed to myself thinking who would combine cocoa and pork, but guess what, apparently I’m not the first person to think about it.  My search returned a few recipes for cocoa rubs and so I was of course at that point obligated to test one of these recipes.

All I can say is WOW!  I thought this would be a long shot, but it was delicious and is now a keeper in my kitchen.  Although the pork doesn’t taste like chocolate, the cocoa combines beautifully with the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and gives the pork a very rich flavor that will keep you coming back for more.  We usually have a bit left over after a pork tenderloin dinner.  This time, there was none!

This recipe comes from the Food Network and I did not make any substitutions since I already had all the ingredients and it was naturally primal.


  • 1 tablespoon whole white peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt, preferably gray
  • 2 (2-pound) boneless pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, toast white peppercorns and coriander seeds until they begin to pop. Remove from heat and grind to fine powder in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Mix the ground pepper and coriander with remaining spices, cocoa and salt.

Trim the pork tenderloins of fat and silver skin. Rub with a generous amount of the cocoa spice rub. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Sear each tenderloin on all sides until a rich brown color, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove tenderloins from heat and finish in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Let the tenderloins rest out of the oven for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Extra cocoa spice rub will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

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