7 Hour Coffee Roast Pork – Thanks All Around

Before we start, though I am from an advertising background, this is not a paid post. Nor is it a sponsored post, I just want to say thanks to some nice people, for doing nice things. A friend of mine, Andrew Watchorn gifted me some coffee beans to try from Blue Butterfly Coffee. Andrew had developed a new corporate brand for Blue Butterfly (a great job) and his enthusiasm spilled over so much that he wanted me to try the product. It is lovely coffee. If you are buying coffee in a café, restaurant or hotel around Ireland, keep an eye out for the brand.

The same day as I got my sweaty hands on the coffee, I read a recipe written by Jody Adams and Ken Rivard over at The excellent blog The Garum Factory. It was for 7 hour coffee roasted pork. That got me thinking. You see, I owe a debt of gratitude to Ken. He is a top photographer. He also is a guy very willing to pass on his learnings and advice. He has been a huge help to me in developing (pun intended) my photography. Jody is a top woman. Not only is she a top restauranteur in Boston, Mass, but she is a cyclist too. That carries a lot of weight with me. So, I thought, what better way to honour Jody and Ken than to rip off their recipe and post it here as my own.

I followed Jody’s recipe very closely (bar a few alterations), though using a bigger piece of meat and bigger leeks, so this list is close but not identical to the original at this link.


  • 3 tablespoons finely ground used coffee grounds (used today)
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 3 of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2.5 kilo of boneless pork butt, fat cap intact
  • Maldon smoked salt
  • 5 – 6 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 very large leeks
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

How to do it

Preheat the oven to 250ºC then spoon the coffee into a mortar and grind to as close to a paste as you can.  Add the fish sauce, sugar, garlic, pepper, and vinegar and grind into a thin paste. (My mortar was too small for this so I did it in a blender).

Fish sauce, like most things in life comes in variable qualities. Buy the best you can afford.

Score the fat on top of the pork shoulder.  Season well with salt. Rub plenty of the coffee mixture into the pork. Save the leftover rub mixture.

This is what a piece of rare breed, free range, Irish pork butt looks like.


The coffee mixture is packed with flavours.

Arrange the rosemary sprigs all over the pork.

Tie 3 – 4 lengths of string around the pork to hold the rosemary in place.  Put the pork on a rack in a roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water to the pan. Save any residual rub and use it brush the pork every hour or so during the roasting. Roast the pork on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 100ºC and continue roasting for 6½ hours.

A poor enough attempt to mimic Ken’s lovely shot.

Prepare the leeks and potatoes after the pork has been slow-roasting for 5½ hours. Trim the roots from the leeks. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly. Cut into manageable sections.

Season the leeks and potatoes with salt and pepper, drizzle them in olive oil if necessary and add them to the pan with the pork and stir them about to coat them with the fat. Put everything back in the oven and roast for an hour, by which time the pork should be very close to done.

Just before going back into the oven.

The pork is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 62ºC. This is a lot lower than the recommended safe temperature followed in America. I suspect the quality of the rare breed free range pork might have something to do with it.

Increase the temperature to 250ºC and cook until the fat crust on the pork is crispy and potatoes and leeks are done, about 15 minutes.

Let the pork rest 20 minutes before serving. This is important! If you slice into the roast too soon it will dry out.

This is delightful, carved nice and thick when warm, thin when cold.

The end result is something very special. The meat is tender and full of flavour. The crispy outer edge is a delight of tastiness. Lovely with the leeks, potatoes and a good dollop of mustard. It was great eaten cold on brown bread the following day too.

Totally delicious coffee roast pork.

So, in short, thanks to Jody for the recipe, Ken for the advice, guidance and intercontinental friendship, Andrew and Blue Butterfly for the coffee. We all do a bit better when we share the good. So, thanks all around.

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Latest comments
  • What a fascinating recipe ! A one-pan slow-cook roast pork dinner such as I have not seen before . . . a fascinating melange of ingredients I want to try even if roast dinners usually are not quite my ‘thing’ I have oft cooked lamb with coffee and cream in the well-honoured Scandinavian way . . . so thank you !!! . . . Fish sauce, smoked salt . . . hope our blasted ‘second wave’ will be beaten back soonest to be able have friends around the table !!! And after a sleep trying to overtake me off to find ‘The Garum Factory’ . . .

  • I love good coffee, and I love a good slow-cooked pork shoulder, but I’m a tiny bit ambivalent about combining the two… But your recommendation carries a lot of weight. I shall consult the Husband to see if we try this with the next one!

  • This is my favorite type of recipe, low and slow, full of flavor!

    Now let me ask you, are you left-handed? or is that just from staging the picture? (I know, such irrelevant detail, but I am curious)

    I am saving this for soon – will let you know when I make it

  • Excellent dish! I suspect you are right with the difference of cooking temps. Sadly, a lot of the meat raised in the US isn’t humane and the environment isn’t clean. I try to get my meat from local farms so I know the animals were humanely raised. It worries me, the trade negotiations between the UK and the US. I really hope the UK holds its ground with the food rules but I’m not optimistic.

      • It seems that the UK wants to copy the US and that really isn’t the path to take. I’m going to to have to do a lot of research when we move back to see where the clean humanely raised food is.

  • This looks SOOOO good! I’m as excited about the leeks and potatoes as I am the pork. I wish I had access to the level of meat you do — quality-wise and, more importantly, humane-wise. Good coffee is one of those little joys in life too. I am fortunate that I can get my hands on some amazing coffee beans from a local shop with a 1929 German coffee roaster and an expert (and very picky — he lets only one employee roast the beans besides him) person using it. 🙂

  • Thank you for your kind words, Conor. Looks like you did a great job – my only regret is that we’re not all sitting around the same table to enjoy it. I should let you know that Jody recently brought home the unused sous-vide from one of the closed restaurants. We may repay the favor – that rhubarb crumble looks awfully good.😋. Ken

  • Looks amazing. While I have access to good meat stock, organic rare breed, I can only get a shoulder. Would this be acceptable? Would you recommend any changes to accommodate this?

  • STUNNING! My guests and I were suitably impressed. I need to work on my veg technique to stop the leeks becoming chewey on the outside, but the meat was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. If you are reading this and undecided I encourage you to do it, without delay, you will not be dissapointed. I used a shoulder which came pre rolled. To help the coffee mix permiate, I untied it and increased the depth of the scoring on the rind/fat, then applied the mixture deep into the fat scores with the joint open, then re rolled and tied to seal it in. After that I followed the script. Sublime. Thank you, and to Jody and Ken for the original concept. One guest thought the cracking was a little too spicy, maybe I overdid the pepper. (ps. the shoulder was aprox the same weight so no adujstment needed).

  • If I was thumbing through a cooking magazine and saw the recipe, I wouldn’t give it another thought…used coffee grounds coating??? Knowing where the recipe originated, your rendition and Mike’s endorsement make me reconsider trying it.

  • Well i love the idea of a coffee rub tho I don’t eat pork. It looks great anyway!

  • This recipe sounds both weird AND wonderful!
    Perhaps, although a lover of leeks, I’d use halved onions for this instead, Spanish style. Slightly charred onions are delicious and never tough.
    Thank you for the recipe. I’d love to try it and will let you know if I do.
    Greetings from Spain

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