Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
Eggs benedict is such a classic brunch staple, and I wanted to put a fun spin on it for Valentine’s Day. Instead of a traditional Hollandaise sauce, I opted for a red-eye gravy instead – which is a classic Southern condiment that incorporates coffee into a basic gravy. I took it one step further and added bacon into the sauce as well!
Because I love to incorporate chocolate into savory dishes, especially for Valentine’s Day, I rubbed the pork tenderloin in a spice mix that includes cocoa powder – and even more coffee. I stack each red eye eggs benedict with an English muffin half, gravy, arugula, the roasted pork, and a perfectly lightly fried runny egg. It’s such a delicious dish that combines some fabulous smokey, deep flavors in a classic and familiar presentation.
You can make it even easier to assemble by frying the eggs in advance, and warm them up in a 250 degree oven for just 2-3 minutes right before assembling!
You can pair these with my chocolate potato pancakes to keep the chocolate theme going strong!
Red Eye Eggs Benedict
For the pork:
- 1 2 pound boneless center cut pork loin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coffee
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the benedict:
- 3 slices applewood smoked bacon chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup strong black coffee
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 1/ 4 cup, divided
- 4 English muffins toasted
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups baby arugula
- This recipe originated on an episode of Giada Entertains. Episode: Chocolate for Breakfast.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pull the pork loin out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, paprika and salt. Season the pork well with the mixture rubbing it in on all sides. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and heat an additional 30 seconds. Place the pork in the pan and sear on all side until deep golden brown for a total of about 6 minutes. Remove the pork to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135 on an instant read thermometer. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to the pan that the pork was cooked in, add the bacon and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the fat is rendered. Whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for a minute. Slowly add the coffee and chicken broth, whisking constantly so that no lumps form. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Whisk in the salt and 2 tablespoons butter to emulsify. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Break 2 eggs into the pan cook until the whites are just set, about 4 minutes. To assist in setting the whites, spoon some of the melted butter over the whites, avoiding the yolk so it stays runny. Remove to a parchment lined tray and continue with the remaining butter and eggs.*
- To assemble, spoon some of the gravy on to the cut side of the muffins. Top with 1/4 cup arugula on each muffin. Thinly slice the pork and place 1 to 2 pieces on each muffin. Top each benedict with a fried egg. Serve warm.
- *Cooks note: To make sure the eggs are warm for serving, place the tray with all the eggs into a 250 degree oven for 2 to 3 minutes just to warm gently. Continue with the assembly.