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Pork Belly with Espresso & Spice Dry Rub ❦ Entremeada de Porco com Crosta de Café e Especiarias

Popular in the United States, dry rubbing meat with coffee, for barbecuing or smoking, is nothing new.

My last trip to New York was made brighter by eating this crispy pork belly as an appetizer, over happy hour with my sister. It was served with a spicy jalapeño jam, roasted garlic aioli and fresh basil. It was bliss and I knew I had to recreate the recipe once home. Here I am sharing with you my very own version of that wonderful dish, with a Portuguese accent of course. The coffee fades into the background and adds an incredible depth of flavour. The pork was melt in your mouth delish.

Enjoy :)


Pork Belly with Espresso & Spice Dry Rub ❦ Entremeada de Porco com Crosta de Café e Especiarias

Serves 4 as an appetizer

12-24 Hours marinating

2 1/2 Hours cook time


The marinade:

700 g. Pork belly

2 tbsp. Espresso coffee powder, I used a Nespresso Vertuo capsule

1 tbsp. Soy sauce

1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. Coarse sea salt

1 tbsp. Coarse ground black pepper

1-1/2 tbsp. garlic granules

1 tsp. Celery salt

2 tsp. Sweet smoked paprika

3 tsp. Onion powder


To roast:

1 Onion, cut into wedges

60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil


To serve:

Garlic aioli, store bought or make my garlic aioli from scratch

Jalapeño jam, store bought



1. Place all ingredients in a bowl except pork, soy sauce and olive oil. Mix well.

2. Place pork in a large plastic zip top bag and add soy and olive oil. Pour the dry spice mix in bowl into bag and massage to coat meat. Squeeze as much air out of bag as possible, seal and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 24.

3. When ready to roast, preheat oven to (140°C (284°F), if fan assisted. If your oven is not fan assisted, increase temperature by 20°. (Low and slow is key)

4. Add olive oil and onion to a baking tray. Remove pork from bag and place on top of onions.

5. Place in centre of pre-heated oven for 2 1/2 hours. If you want the fat crispier, just turn on your oven's grill for a few minutes, I didn't do this.

6. Once roasted, remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes.

7. Cut into bite sized pieces and serve with garlic aioli and jalapeño jam.

I like to drizzle a bit of the flavorful pan juices on the pork, along with the onions.