Coffee has never been just about the hot drink. Those who truly appreciate fine coffee have always known that coffee--as a liquid, grounds, or a roasted bean--make for a wonderful ingredient in all sorts of foods.
Rub Coffee Goodness into Your Meats
Perhaps the easiest way to add coffee to your cooking repertoire is to make a dry rub out of it. A basic coffee rub starts with ½ cup of finely ground coffee, ¼ cup of ground black pepper, and two or three tablespoons of salt. Then, depending upon your preferences, you can add chilli powder, paprika, or whatever else you would like. Finally, use the rub on meats just as you would any other rub.
Brewed coffee also makes for a wonderful marinade ingredient when you are looking to add smoky, woodsy, acidic flavors to your dish. To do this, brew a strong pot of coffee and add enough coffee to the mixture so that the coffee makes up about 25 percent of the total volume of the marinade.
Braising with Coffee
Coffee is also great for braising meats. To do this, prepare your roast or whatever else you are going to braise according to your recipe and then add enough strongly brewed coffee so that it is about ⅓ of the total amount of the braising liquid. Finally, use the liquid to braise the meat just as the recipe calls for.
Slow Cooking with Coffee
As long as you use the right amount of coffee, it does very well with meat dishes cooked in a slow cooker. To do this, follow the instructions above for braising to come up with a crock pot liquid that is ⅓ coffee.
Going Sweet with Coffee
My family’s favorite way to cook with coffee does not actually involve any cooking. We mix some brewed coffee with some half and half, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a bit of sugar and then pour the mixture into some popsicle makers to make our very own coffee/cocoa ice pops. These are great on hot summer evenings.