Spicy Pork with Sweet Potato Hash

One often reads about dry rubs when looking at barbeque recipes, because it’s quite common to dry rub a pork loin or a brisket before being placed in a smoker. But a rub, which is typically a mixture of spices and herbs, doesn’t have to be rubbed onto meat days before serving, or only used when smoking. In fact, in a way, coating a whole chicken with lots of herbs, spices, salt and pepper is essentially a rub. The reason it’s traditionally called a dry rub is that it’s not a paste or a more liquid marinade. Just dry seasoning.

A rub is a wonderful way to add flavor to meat, even meat that takes very little time to prepare. Today I’m cooking two pork tenderloins, and using chili powder for the rub. Yes – just chili powder – the mix used in chile con carne.

The brand of chili powder I like is from Penzey’s. But of course, all you have to do is mix together paprika, cumin, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper, and you’d end up with the same mixture, essentially. Plus, you can adapt it to suit your taste, like add chile pepper powders, for example, like ancho and chipotle.


The pork I’m using is Berkshire pork purchased from D’Artagnan.


I first let the pork tenderloins come to nearly room temperature. Meanwhile, set your oven to a good roasting temperature. I have a “roast” setting on my oven, but roasting usually involved about 400 degrees, at least for about 15 minutes, and then the temperature of the oven can be reduced. The important thing with pork tenderloin, as with all meat, is to cook it properly.

I never let pork tenderloin’s internal temperature go beyond 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people don’t like the hint of pink, and go with 165 degrees. That is just personal preference.

Place a little olive oil in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the tenderloins.


Generously sprinkle on the chili powder, rotate the tenderloins in the oil, and sprinkle on more chili powder.


Make sure the tenderloins are coated with oil and the seasoning mixture. I always tuck under the smaller ends of the tenderloins.


If you were to be picky, this really isn’t a dry rub since since the tenderloins are coated in oil, but because this meat is very lean, I wanted the oil. Plus, it just helps the seasoning stick.

Place the pan in the oven and roast until done.


Immediately place the tenderloins on a cutting board and let them sit for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, make the sweet potato hash by adding a little oil to a large skillet and adding some diced bacon.


Cook only part way, then add some finely diced onion to the bacon.


After sauteing the mixture for just a couple of minutes, add grated sweet potato. Season with salt and white pepper.


Use a medium setting, but adjust the heat accordingly. Toss the sweet potato with the bacon and onions, and then let the sweet potato cook, undisturbed, for a couple of minutes. Turn the mixture over; there will be minimal browning, but the sweet potato is cooking. You know if you’re at too high of heat if the bacon and sweet potato burn.


Add a little butter and let it melt. After a couple of undisturbed minutes, flip over the sweet potato hash again.

It should be nicely browned. If you feel more cooking is required, continue at a medium-to-low setting, or place a lid over the skillet. However, if you want any crispness to the hash, give it a little browning right before serving.

Slice the pork tenderloin.


Serve with the sweet potato hash, and a green vegetable like Brussels sprouts.

I used some of the “jus” from the roasting pan and drizzled it over the pork for extra flavor. It was not oily at all.


For people who need recipes for simple, quick meals, this one fits the bill. As soon as the oven is preheated, in goes the pork tenderloin with a spicy coating. During the short time in the oven, no more than 30 minutes, the sweet potato hash is done. Easy, flavorful, and fabulous for fall!

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. spiritedcook October 30, 2014 at 9:26 AM - Reply

    Thanks Mimi, I have some pork tenderloins in the freezer and the Penzey’s mix too, I’m going to make it this weekend!

  2. Julie is HostessAtHeart October 30, 2014 at 11:10 AM - Reply

    I love dry rubs on pork and often use olive oil too. Your tenderloins came out gorgeous and the hash sounds delicious too!

    • chef mimi October 31, 2014 at 10:31 AM - Reply

      Thank you. It was a really nice combination.

  3. dianeskitchentable October 30, 2014 at 8:23 PM - Reply

    The pork roasts look terrific but omg, that sweet potato hash! Wow! Did you pre-cook the sweet potato or just shred it?

    • chef mimi October 30, 2014 at 9:14 PM - Reply

      Just grated it. That’s why you can’t brown it too fast – it takes a while to cook, but you can brown it right before serving!

  4. chef mimi October 30, 2014 at 9:25 PM - Reply

    Thank you so much!

  5. Frugal Hausfrau October 31, 2014 at 2:27 AM - Reply

    Great fall menu! I really like the idea of the sweet potato hash!

    • chef mimi October 31, 2014 at 10:29 AM - Reply

      Fall food is my favorite!!!

      • Frugal Hausfrau October 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Me, too! And it’s also probably responsible for the extra 10 pounds I seem to pick up every winter and try to lose each spring! :)

  6. chef mimi October 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM - Reply

    Yeah, same difference. Thanks!

  7. chef mimi October 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM - Reply

    Thank you! It was still hot outside, but I didn’t care!

  8. Michelle October 31, 2014 at 7:21 PM - Reply

    Very nice, Mimi!

  9. Choc Chip Uru November 2, 2014 at 2:16 AM - Reply

    Sweet potato hash is absolutely delicious :D
    Love the spicy pork with it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. StefanGourmet November 2, 2014 at 8:15 AM - Reply

    Great recipe, Mimi. Have you ever tried pork tenderloin cooked to only 131 or 140 degrees? From a food safety point that is safe nowadays, and I much prefer the juiciness.

    • chef mimi November 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM - Reply

      do you mean in the oven or sous vide?

      • StefanGourmet November 2, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        Either. The requirement to cook pork to 155 degrees has been lifted as pork is no longer contaminated with Trichinella. Still most are so used to well done pork that any pink is seen as dangerous.

  11. Cynthia McCloud Woodman November 3, 2014 at 10:00 PM - Reply

    This pork looks absolutely scrumptious!

    • chef mimi November 4, 2014 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      There’s nothing worse to me than overcooked meat – of any kind!

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