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Gordon Ramsay’s coffee-spiced pork shoulder with sweet potato and yuca recipe

A hearty dish spiced with coffee and chilli.

(Justin Mandel/PA)

One stop on Gordon Ramsay’s culinary journey around the world was Puerto Rico, where he discovered this recipe for coffee-spiced pork shoulder.

It’s accompanied by yuca – the root of the native cassava plant, which was an important ingredient for the indigenous Taino community.

Coffee-spiced pork shoulder with sweet potato and yuca


(Serves 4)

For the coffee-spiced pork shoulder:

  • 2tsp ground cumin

  • 2tsp sweet paprika

  • 1tbsp kosher salt

  • 1tbsp finely ground coffee

  • 1tbsp granulated sugar

  • ¼tsp chili flakes, or more to taste

  • 2tsp annotto seeds, finely ground (if you can’t find annatto seeds, you can substitute with 2tsp achiote paste)

  • ½ boneless pork shoulder (about 1.3kg)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

For the sweet potato and yuca:

  • 1 red onion, diced into 1.3cm pieces

  • 1 star anise

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1.3cm pieces

  • 1 yuca, peeled and diced into 1.3cm pieces

  • 1 cup dark rum

  • 3-4 cups chicken stock


1. Prepare the pork shoulder: In a small bowl, combine the cumin, paprika, salt, coffee, sugar, chili flakes, and annatto.

2. Season the pork shoulder with the rub, rubbing it in with your hands to coat evenly. Set the pork shoulder aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

3. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat and drizzle the pork with olive oil. Place the pork shoulder in the pot and sear on all sides until caramelised and golden brown. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.

4. Make the sweet potato and yuca: To the pot, add the onion, star anise, and garlic. Season with salt. Cook until all the ingredients begin to caramelise and the anise is aromatic, about seven to 10 minutes. Add the sweet potato and yuca and saute for five minutes longer, until they start to brown. Add the rum to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release all of the brown bits. Simmer until the rum is reduced by half.

5. Finish the pork shoulder: Return the pork to the pot and pour in the chicken stock, making sure the stock comes halfway up the side of the pork, adding more liquid if needed. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for about two hours or until the pork easily breaks apart with a fork. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon.

6. Once the pork is tender, remove it from the pot and set it on a large plate or cutting board. Pull the pork into large pieces using two forks.

7. Reduce the cooking liquid that remains in the pot by half until slightly thickened.

8. To serve, plate the pork and vegetables on a serving platter and drizzle cooking liquid over top.

(National Geographic/PA)

Gordon Ramsay’s Uncharted: A Culinary Adventure With 60 Recipes From Around The Globe is published by National Geographic, priced £25. Available now.


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