A cup of joe can be a dark and delicious pick-me-up if you know how to use it right.
It's the Wild West - you're camped around a stove, on the ranch, with a pot of coffee, some beans, some water, and a knackered tomato. That's all you've got and you're going to throw all those ingredients in a pan and cook them down. It's a cowboy vibe with a coffee twist. Coffee may seem like a strange choice to add to these smoky beans - but let's say you're making a gravy and you haven't got a very good stock; add some coffee and you'll get lots of flavour.
In between the bite of the beans and the smokiness of the bacon there's a sweet heat, revving up my tastebuds. It won't be until the aftermath that the coffee kicks in – and it's not a coffee taste as such, certainly not one you associate with cakes or ice creams. This is deeper and darker, but without ever being bitter.
Begin by lightly frying the shallots in a little rapeseed oil. Then add the lardons and lightly toss until the bacon begins to colour golden brown. Add the tomatoes, cut side down, the garlic and the mustard powder and fry for a further 2 minutes. Don't allow the shallots to burn.
Using the water, scrape all the flavour up from the bottom of the pan. Pour into an earthenware dish, add the remaining ingredients, stir gently and place in the oven at 180C for 40 minutes or until all the liquid has reduced. Done.
A few shallots, diced
Handful of bacon lardons
2 over-ripe tomatoes, cut into halves
1 chilli, diced
1 tin of haricot beans (in water)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
One and a half tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of mustard powder
2 tablespoons of molasses
3 Dark Roast Espresso Pods
1 cup of water