Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

I’ve been experimenting with my coffee rub, one that combines coffee with cocoa powder, brown sugar, salt, garlic and onion. I’ve tried it on various cuts of beef, on chicken, and pork…and it works well on everything!


A Berkshire pork belly, cured for several weeks, then rinsed.


I took some of the rub and cured a beautiful Berkshire pork belly with it, to make bacon. I simply scored the fat side of the belly, then massaged both sides of the belly with the rub, and placed it in a container in the fridge for several weeks. I flipped it over every few days to allow both sides of the belly to come in contact with the liquid that formed when the salt in the rub extracted moisture from the meat. After several weeks, I removed the belly from the container and rinsed it well with clean water, drying it with paper towels. I then re-rubbed the pork belly with more of the coffee rub and placed it in the smoker for 2 hours at 250 degrees, smoking it with hickory, my favorite wood for bacon.


The pork belly, re-rubbed and ready to smoke.


It just so happened that on the weekend I was smoking the belly, I decided to smoke a couple of racks of pork ribs for myself. These also came from a beautiful heritage Berkshire pig, and I coated them with the coffee rub, allowing them to rest in the fridge for 24 hours putting them in the smoker.


The Berkshire pork ribs, rubbed and ready to smoke. I cut the racks in half for easier handling.


Since the ribs and belly were in the smoker at the same time, the ribs first smoked at 250 degrees with hickory along with the bacon, for about 2 hours. Once I removed the bacon, I dropped the temperature of the smoker to 225, and smoked the ribs for 2 more hours. I then removed the ribs, sprinkled them with a little more coffee rub, and wrapped them in aluminum foil, before returning them to the smoker for another hour.



The ribs, and the bacon, were absolute perfection!



The ribs, smoked for several hours.


Re-sprinkling a little coffee rub on the ribs.


Wrapping the half-racks in foil. Some go back to the smoker, some head for the freezer to be enjoyed later.


Since I had 2 full racks of ribs, more than enough for several meals, I cut each rack in half before smoking for easier handling. Once I wrapped them in foil, I let a couple of them cool on the counter before placing them in a freezer bag and putting them in the freezer for future use. Already smoked and cured, all I’ll need to do is take a foil package out of the freezer, and place it in a 250-degree oven for a couple of hours to warm the ribs up and make them fall-off-the-bone tender.


The ribs, after another hour in the foil.


Here’s my coffee rub recipe. Make a lot of it and use it on everything from burgers to whole chickens to pulled pork sandwiches.


3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground coffee (use your favorite)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder


Rib perfection!


As I’ve mentioned previously, I love the Kona-crusted NY strip at the Capital Grille, so much so that it inspired me to make a coffee rub of my own. I’ve been using it on steaks and burgers for years. But last week, I used it on a slow-smoked pork shoulder for the first time, and it was fantastic!

I used a smaller pork shoulder, about 6 lbs., and smoked it for about 12 hours. Obviously, if you use a larger hunka meat, you’ll need more time. I prefer a bone-in shoulder over boneless. I think it gives greater flavor.


Rubbed and ready to smoke!


My coffee rub is easy to make, and I usually make a lot of it at once, since it stores well.


3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground coffee (use your favorite)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

I mix all the ingredients well, then rub generously on the pork shoulder before placing it a 250-degree smoker for about 12 hours. I use an electric smoker, which allows me to set the temperature and forget it, with the exception of occasionally adding hickory chips. I love just a hint of smokiness…I don’t want the rub to be overpowered by the smoke.


Perfectly smoked, with the bone easily sliding out of the shoulder.

The brown sugar in the coffee rub creates a beautiful crust on the meat, which goes really well with the pork and the barbecue sauce I make.

The barbecue sauce uses much-needed vinegar. It cuts through the rich fattiness of the pork, and is absolutely delicious.

2 cups ketchup
3/4 cup water
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons white vinegar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin


Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temp. If you store it in an airtight container in the fridge, it’ll stay good for a few months.


A beautifully smoked pork shoulder, amazing barbecue sauce…what more do you need for an amazing pulled pork sandwich except a toasted brioche bun and perhaps some of my world-famous home fries on the side?

The home fries? That recipe is for another blog!




Posted: March 19, 2017 in beef, Food, Recipes
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m usually a pork rib guy. But recently, I bought a nice slab of grass-fed beef ribs from one of my latest favorite suppliers of beef, Slanker’s Grass-Fed Beef. ( They sell grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and more…with fair pricing and free shipping.

My coffee rub from an earlier blog has become my go-to way to cook a steak. So I figured, how bad could it be on beef ribs?

Any coffee will do for this rub…pick your favorite. But I had a stash of my personal favorite, Kona, at home, and used that.



3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground Kona coffee
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
5 lbs. grass-fed beef ribs
Let the rubbed ribs sit for 30 minutes.

Let the rubbed ribs sit for 30 minutes.


In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, coffee, salt, garlic, onion, and cocoa. Mix well.

Remove the skin on the underside of the ribs. I do this by sliding a knife under a corner of the skin, exposing just enough of a tab that I can grab onto. The meat can be slippery, so pulling the skin off with a folded piece of paper towel in your hands gives a better grip.

Cut the ribs into 2-rib portions. Place all the rib pieces on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Generously rub the coffee rub into all sides of the rib pieces, turning them meat-side-up, and let them sit on the baking sheet at room temperature for about a half hour, while you warm the oven up to 350 degrees.

Place the sheet pan of ribs in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the ribs from the oven, and lower the heat to 250. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil, 2 sections per packet, and place them back on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and cook them for 4 more hours.

Remove the ribs from the oven and take them out of the foil, placing them back on the baking sheet and back into the 250-degree oven for 30 more minutes.



One of the new all-the-rage health drinks is something called Bulletproof Coffee. Bulletproof is a brand name for a coffee that has had “toxins removed” through a special process, according to its creator. (According to my friend, Lee, a PhD in chemistry, that’s a load of crap.)

To make the drink, you combine Bulletproof Upgraded coffee blend, grass-fed butter or ghee (a clarified butter commonly used in Indian cooking,) and their special Bulletproof “Brain Octane Oil.” (The Octane Oil is another product that claims to have beneficial properties far beyond coconut oil. Again…I have my doubts.)


They claim this coffee combination gives you a lasting lift, not a spike that many caffeine drinks can, and the good fats in the drink keep your brain and body satisfied all morning long.

Rather than buy all the expensive Bulletproof products, my friends Doug and Jenn here at the radio station decided to make their own version of this drink. Besides tasting incredibly awesome, it definitely feels like it does some good…for a much more reasonable price.


It may sound bizarre at first, but you add a tablespoon of grass-fed unsalted butter or ghee (again, unsalted) to a blender. Then you add a tablespoon of coconut oil (replacing the expensive “Brain Octane Oil.”) Brew your favorite coffee (8 to 12 oz.) and add the hot coffee to the blender. Then turn the blender on and let it rip until all the ingredients have been thoroughly blended.

You need to use hot coffee for this so the fats melt and you get a nice mouth-feel. That’s it. Now drink! No cream or sugar needed.

The premise is that your body is starved for healthy fats. This drink supplies some. I’ll be trying this drink for a few weeks to see if it makes any difference in how I feel.

Just remember: just any butter won’t do. It has to be butter from grass-fed cows. (Many Irish brands are grass-fed…just make sure it’s unsalted.) If you can’t find it, ghee is a good substitute.

My wife and I are iced coffee fanatics. It’s what we drink every morning, 365 days a year. I have a full air pot of coffee in the fridge at all times, and a stash of coffee ice cubes in the freezer so that not one precious drop of this elixir is diluted. When we go away on vacation, I will bring containers of this already brewed coffee with us. If we go somewhere with a kitchen and a coffee maker, I will grind the beans at home in pre-measured amounts and then seal it in Ziploc bags, brewing it immediately upon arrival so that we have our cold coffee ready the next morning, ice cubes included. When we travel to a destination where bringing this coffee is absolutely impossible, we try to look at it as an opportunity to perhaps discover a newer, better coffee. It has yet to happen.

The coffee is called Caffe Chicco D’Oro, which means “nugget of gold,” and we discovered it in Switzerland, near the Italian border, about 9 years ago. My brother-in-law’s family was living in Basel at the time and my wife and I traveled there to be a part of a large family Christmas holiday gathering. The journey across the pond included a scenic road trip to the spectacular Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola in Ticino/Lugano, close to the Italian border but still in Switzerland despite its Italian name. We stopped at a popular Autogrill rest area in southern Switzerland and sipped cappucinos that totally blew us away….so much so that we needed to know the brand of this incredible coffee. Once we were home in the United States, I was on a mission to find a way to buy this coffee for our every day use. Fortunately, they had an office here in the states, and it was relatively easy for me to buy Caffe Chicco D’Oro online. After a few years, they shut their operation down and transferred the rights to sell their product to a company called The Swiss Bakery in Virginia. To this day, these folks are the exclusive importers of Caffe Chicco D’Oro. (

The variety I buy is in the gold package, known as “Tradition.” I have tried the “Elite” when they were sold out of my favorite, and was not as happy with it.


I buy the coffee by the case: 12 whole bean bags (250g) at a time. Shipping is free. I keep them in a cool, dry place and I’ve never had a problem with spoilage. Besides, we drink a lot of it and it doesn’t sit around very long!