Sunday, July 8, 2012

Crockpot paleo beef brisket with coffee/cumin/cocoa rub

I have run into a few references to "coffee rubs" for beef brisket recently, and, being a fan of all things java, I have been intrigued, but, every time I look up a recipe, I see so many ingredients that my wife's paleo autoimmune protocol won't tolerate -- paprika and chili peppers seem ubiquitous -- that I decided to wing it and make up something on the fly this morning so I could stick it in the crockpot and ten hours later be greeted with awesomeness.

A few things were essential: grassfed beef brisket (duh); coffee, but decaf because my wife can't do caffeine either; cumin, because it imparts a southwestern feel without involving chili peppers that she can't eat; and coconut milk, because I simply have not found a better crockpot cooking liquid than coconut milk. Every time I use something else -- apple cider vinegar, broth, whatever, I end up wishing I had used old reliable coconut milk. Then I started mucking about with other ideas and stumbled on a container of unsweetened cocoa powder. Embracing the thought, "Mmmm, mocha," with a big sloppy man-hug, I put that onto the ingredients list.

Then, thinking back to an episode of the Bulleproof Executive's Upgraded Self Radio podcast that dealt with the overwhelming powers of a fully operational mothership full of coconut oil (Episode 13, I believe; points to you if get the George Clinton reference; boo if you don't) I threw some of that lauric-acid-filled wonder on the list too.

And off we went....


-- four-pounds(ish) 100% grassfed beef brisket
-- 1/4 cup ground coffee (I used decaf)
-- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
-- 2 tablespoons sea salt
-- 1-2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
-- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
-- 1 can coconut milk, the full-fat stuff, not the light crap, and when I say "can," I do not mean "carton of coconut-milk beverage"; I mean "can."

Do this:

--pour coconut milk into crockpot (I put this first because if you pour it over top of the already-rub-filled hunk o' meat, I think you will rinse off too much of the rub) and stir to mix it up. You could even heat it a little on the stove first to *really* mix it up if you are not a lazy bastard like me.
--mix all the rub ingredients in a bowl.... that's the coffee, salt, cumin and cocoa.
--take the solid coconut oil and rub it all over the brisket. This is not as hot as the last time Angelina Jolie asked me to help her with applying tanning butter at the beach, but it is pretty damn erotic for a kitchen experience, and since there is some evidence that that beach thing didn't happen anywhere but my mind, it may be the best you'll do all day.
--now that the brisket is all, mmmm, oily, rub the rub into it. That's what's you do with a rub; you rub it. To paraphrase Devo, rub it good. In all seriousness, the coconut oil helps the rub adhere to the brisket (which may or may not be named Angelina at this point).
-- cook for ten hours in the coconut milk that is already in the crockpot, a bit longer if it is not easily shredded at the ten-hour mark.

Damn, that is really delicious. You should do this.

The rub ingredients hanging out in a bowl:

The hunk o'meat, in a small pond of coconut milk, all ready to be cooked:

Shredded, extreme deliciousness ten hours later:

We served it over bok choy, sauteed in coconut oil and black pepper:


--Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Hey There! This recipe looks great. I just have one question for you. Is the ground coffee instant coffee, or ground coffee beans?

  2. Not instant. Just regular ground.

  3. Winner! I made this yesterday and thought it was tasty.

    I am always fascinated by cooking with coffee. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I tried this once already, and loved it! Making it again this weekend for a Christmas pot luck. Thanks!

  5. This was amazing!! We all drank the broth left in our bowls. I threw in a few veggies towards the end of the cook time, then put all the leftover broth and veggies in a blender to use as "gravy" in future meals. It made everything taste yummy!! Thanks for sharing this keeper recipe!

  6. this was off the hook good. simple to make, not a lot of ingredients = a very happy paleo chef in the kitchen! thanks again.

  7. This may be a stupid question but do you cook this on low or high?

  8. This recipe sounds amazing and I think I will make this for the upcoming 4th of July. I plan on feeding 12 people - do you recommend doubling the rub ingredients and keeping the 1 can of coconut milk for twice the meat?

  9. Definitely double the rub. Honestly, I am not sure for the coconut milk.... It depends on the size of the slow cooker. Twice the meat is going to fill up even a big crockpot, so I imagine twice the coconut milk might overflow it. That wouldn't be good. You are going to have to figure that one out as you go. You can always use some of a second can and refrigerate the rest for something else (to put over fruit, especially frozen fruit, maybe?).