Spent coffee is one of the most robust and aromatic spices a cook could want, giving sweet and savoury recipes alike an energetic, flavorful boost, from cakes and pastries (check out my spent espresso brownies) to rubs and marinades.
Save used coffee grounds in the fridge and use them up within a week; if that doesn’t work, freeze them or dry them up in the oven (preferably when it’s not being used for something else) and store in a covered jar.
Coffee marinades make fantastic meat rubs, infusing the meat with strong flavours. If you’re slow-roasting a slab of meat (or chicken thighs, vegetables, or tofu, for that matter), use today’s wasted coffee rub to give it a frugal edge and amp up the umami.
I also use wasted coffee in American-style shakes, especially when I need a morning boost: simply blitz a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a heaping teaspoon of spent coffee grounds and a splash of milk (plant-based or dairy), ideally using an immersion blender.
Rubbing coffee grounds
Spent-coffee is a secret ingredient that provides real depth of flavour, which is why I keep it on my spice rack these days. Chilli, smokey dishes, barbecued meat, and chocolate all go well with it.
Cooking in the oven uses a lot of energy, so don’t make this dish if you’re trying to save energy; instead, make it when you’re in the mood for meat and are planning a slow roast. Short rib, brisket, hog ribs, chicken thighs, and even veggies and tofu steaks (if you decide for any of those last three, keep in mind that they’ll only take an hour or so to cook).