Call: 706-754-2351



Pork Tenderloin with Red-Eye Gravy

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Cheryl Glass with the American Culinary Federation asked me to do a cooking demo at the Atlanta Food Expo and I find it hard to say no to Cheryl. Plus I knew she was in a jam because… well… she asked ME to do a cooking demo. It was time to bring out the sous vide pork tenderloin.

With Royal Cup Coffee and Tea to as our sponsor I made a dry coffee rub for a sous vide pork tenderloin and a red eye gravy.

The Recipe Starts at 3:30 After Story of Walnut Grove

All the food demos had to be presented in a 30 minute window and that included plating and giving tastes to the attendees.  I cooked a pork tenderloin sous vide the day before as well as all the prep and sauce and I was able to assemble the entire meal in 25 minutes.

As the gravy cools it will get thicker and if you refrigerate overnight it will get thicker and harden. That is the nature of fat. Reheat slowly in a small sauce pan and add any juice from the bag or additional stock to keep the sauce from getting too thick, keeping it at a consistency you like.

This recipe is more than enough for one tenderloin, just enough for 2 (but you wish you had more) When you shop at Costco you get 2 packs of 2 tenderloins in one larger package. I remove one 2-pack and freeze.

I will then cook 2 small tenderloins. One tenderloin can feed 4 if you’re not big eaters. If I only need one for dinner I’ll still cook the second and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

3 tablespoons fine ground dark roast (but not espresso) coffee
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder

Sometimes the brown sugar will be in lumps. Rub the rub with your hands to break up. This rub can be made well in advance and kept in a tightly sealed container.

Trim any excess fat and remove the silver skin from the tenderloin. I also will trim off the ends to make the tenderloin the perfect size to fit in a 1 gal zip loc bag. If you’re using a vacuum sealer you can always cut a bag lengthwise to fit any size loin.  But I like cutting off the tapered ends so I have uniform slices when plating.

Before applying the rub I’ll roll the tenderloin in a tea towel to dry it off. Liberally sprinkle a thin layer of the rub onto the tenderloin and press it in with your fingers so it adheres. Do this all over the tenderloin.

Seal the meat in a bag. If using a zip-loc make sure to get as much air out of the bag as possible so it will sink into the bath. One way to do that is to simply roll it squeezing the air out as you go.

Place in a sous vide bath set at 142 degrees and clip the bag to the side of the pot and cook for 2 to 2.5 hours.

With sous vide the tenderloin is ready to sear after 1 hour or you can leave it in the bath for up to 4 hours and it’s still going to be pink and juicy because it never gets hotter than 142 degrees.

This gives you added flexibility in the kitchen. Put it in the bath and forgettaboutig. Hey mix yourself a drink.

While the meat is cooking you can make the gravy. Why a red-eyed gravy?  Because coffee is our theme remember. Just like any recipe there are many ways to make red eye gravy. But if you don’t use coffee it ain’t red-eyed gravy.

The original Red-Eye Gravy was pan fat from a piece of country ham deglazed with coffee. That’s it. I would probably be more excited about this if I’d been punching cows all day

I’m not really interested in making this gravy any traditional way especially if that traditional way tastes terrible, all bitter and runny. If it splashes, it’s juice not gravy.

So people start to add flour to thicken it, sugar and stock to take the bitter edge off and add additional butter to emulsify, etc etc. The way I make mine is no less of a red-eye gravy, but it is a hell of a lot better.

1/2 Cup brewed coffee
1/4 Cup half and half
1/4 Cup beef broth or bouillon
4 oz of Pancetta thick sliced or bacon
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon or a little more dark brwon sugar
1 Tablespoon chopped shallots
pinch of salt and
3 or 4 turns of black pepper.

I start with browning 4oz of cubed or thick sliced pancetta over medium high heat. You can use thick cut bacon if you can’t find pancetta. They’re Pretty much the same except pancetta is not smoked.

Remember that redeye gravy is fat and coffee so you may want to add some butter here to get a healthy amount of fat. That may be a poor choice of words as some would say a healthy amount of fat is no fat.

Then add a tablespoon of minced shallots and sweat for about 30 seconds
Add the coffee and the beef stock and deglaze the pan.
Add the half and half bring to a boil
Add the brown sugar and stir in
Add a pinch of salt and
3-4 turns of a pepper mill

Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning.  Bring back to a boil and reduce a little. The gravy is starting to thicken as it should now coat the back of a spoon.

Add 1 tsp beurre manie blend with the gravy and and cook for a couple of minutes. You’ll get a thicker and darker gravy –
HOLD EVERYTHING: What’s a beurre manie? –

it’s equal amounts of softened butter and flour kneaded together by hand. It is a roux that is not cooked. I keep some in the refrigerator in a tight container to have around to thicken sauces and soups.


Prepping This Dish One Day in Advance.

Let the gravy come to room temperature and you can seal it and store it in the refrigerator overnight until you’re ready to sear the tenderloin.

When the meat comes out of the sous vide you’ll place the sealed bag in an ice bath to chill. When the tenderloin is cooled you can place in the refrigerator overnight.

Ready to Cook

Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator an hour before you’re ready to sear. Searing a tenderloin straight from the refrigerator leaves the center of the meat cold.

Put the stored gravy in a small sauce pan and reheat on low. Remove the cooked tenderloin from the bag and roll in a tea towel to dry and add and bag juice to the gravy.

Heat 1 TBL of oil in the cast iron pan and turn it to high. When the oil starts to shimmer sear the meat on all sides.  You can prop the meat up against the side of the pan to sear the rounded ends of the loin.

Place the seared loin on a cutting board to rest about 10 minutes and reheat the gravy. You may want to deglaze the cast iron skillet with some stock and add this to the gravy as well.

Slice the tenderloin in thick slices, plate and spoon on the gravy.

This night I’m using okra as the side dish as it’s that time of year where the okra is going crazy in the garden. This okra was also made yesterday and reheated prior to serving.

There you have it. A tasty, tenderloin with a scrumptious sauce which you can prep ahead and assemble in less than 30 minutes.

Ciao For Now

<a title=”Funny Speaker Cooking Channel” href=”″ target=”_blank”>Subscribe to Vinny’s YouTube Channel:

Leave a Reply


Vinny icon

Chef/Humorist Vinny Verelli’s highly customized keynotes will energize your attendees with his no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners, street-mart approach to Negativity Management.

Conference Host

Vinny icon

With a style unlike any other, Vinny will be your strategic emcee and event host. With over 20 years in the event business Vinny is your foodservice conference specialist.

Video Promotion

Vinny icon

Whether you order Vinny by the slice or the pie he will a produce a fun video that you can use to promote your event or product.

Watch Vinny

Vinny video