Test Kitchen - Coffee Dry Rubbed Steak

Last week's Test Kitchen ingredient involved coffee. We showed an image of whole coffee beans but that wasn't a limiting factor. Of course you could have easily said to brew the dang beans but the point was to think outside of the box. One step towards that direction would have been to beg me to make tiramisu but luckily no one mentioned that. Instead, we got the cool suggestion from Jeni to use it as a rub. I have heard of people doing this before but have never tried or had it myself. I had ground coffee from my Klout perk of a Fair Trade box which was Archer Farms' Tierra del Sol from southern Mexico, a medium roasted organic variety. This was perfect for the dry rub purpose because I wouldn't have to grind it myself. Coffee made me think of pairing with some spiciness so I came up with this combination; it actually may end up being a little too much rub so make sure you can store the extra somewhere.

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 1 large steak)

  • 1/4 cup coffee grounds
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • canola oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1.5-2 lb sirloin steak

Step 2: Prepping the rub and steak
If you think taking a steak straight out from the refrigerator and throwing it onto the grill or pan is a good idea, think again. You should let the meat come closer to room temperature before cooking it. I made sure to cover it completely with generous amounts of kosher salt to bring out its tenderness. While that sat, I made the dry rub by combining all above mentioned ingredients (except for the oil, salt, and steak).

Step 3: Rubbing the steak
We had a nice slab of steak with plenty of fat to keep it moist. After about 20 minutes of being covered in salt, the steak should be rinsed off very well and patted dry. Then rub the coffee dry rub all over all sides.

Step 4: Cooking the steak
I wish we had a grill to use because then we would grill the heck out of the steak. Unfortunately, we only have a large skillet to use so in that case, heat up some oil until just barely smoking. Cook steak on each side only about 3 minutes (depending on its thickness). You want it a nice medium rare when eating. After flipping and cooking, remove the steak from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes. This part is extremely important. Many people don't let their meat sit after being cooked and thus lose out on all the juices and tenderness. Keep in mind that the meat will also continue to cook while it is resting due to internal heat.

Step 5: Finishing
We enjoyed our steak with a side of roasted basil potatoes and crispy shoestring asparagus. The coffee barely made the dinner taste like coffee but provided a sweet and crispy crust to the tender meat. I'd totally make this again.

This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: Torani hazelnut syrup
We have these tiny bottles of Torani flavors for some reason so decided it was time to put them to use. Pictured is the Torani hazelnut syrup which I'd love for you to give suggestions for in terms of usage. Let us know on Facebook once the picture goes up!

Photography by Duc Duong.