#Sow The Change


One of the best parts of the ZEA mission is to have an excuse to appreciate the origin and preparation of our food.    This time we found a fantastic recipe that ended up being not only absolutely delicious but came from a book that speaks directly to the heart of our mission:  Love your Leftovers.   The secret ingredient of this recipe?  Once-brewed coffee grounds.

This recipe comes from the fantastic book Love your Leftovers: Recipes for the resourceful cook from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and published by River Cottage.    This book is a must for everybody interested in how to make delicious food and reduce the amount of food that otherwise would go to landfill.

Coffee Spice Rub

“Coffee is an ingredient in many American barbecue marinades and rubs, lending depth and flavour and perky acidity, specially to pork.”



  • 2 tablespoons of very dry once-brewed coffee grounds
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of light muscovado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of flaky sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • Pinch – ¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • Pinch – ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 – 1.5 kg. piece of pork belly.



Put all ingredients into a spice mill or mini food processor and whiz until well combined.  Alternatively pound them together using a pestle and mortar.  The rub will keep sealed in a jar in a cool, dark place for a couple of months.

Rub some of the spice rub into the scored skin of a 1 – 1.5 kg. piece of pork belly making sure you get it right into the cracks.  Leave to stand for an hour to allow the flavours to penetrate.   Give it a host blast at 220 C/Fan 200 C/Gas7 for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160 C/Fan 140 C/Gas3 and cook for further 2 hours, until the juices run clear and the crackling is puffed up (you may want to flash the crackling under a hot grill if is not puffed up enough).




Drying Coffee Grounds.   Spread the coffee grounds thinly and evenly on a plate and let them dry naturally.   Or to speed the process, line a baking sheet with baking parchment, scatter the coffee grounds it and place in a low oven for 10 minutes or so.  Take out of the oven and leave for at least an hour, until the excess moisture has evaporated.

The final product was extraordinary!

¡Buen Provecho everyone!