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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.