Rubbing Your Meat

RECIPE: Cowboy Coffee Steak Rub

A few weeks ago my friend Laura told me she had an extra ticket to Phoenix Cooks, this fancy schmancy food festival in Scottsdale, and asked if I wanted to go with her.  Uh, a free ticket (retail price: $75) to a place where I can try fancy restaurant food and drink wine/vodka/tequila/sake to my heart’s content?!  Obviously I jumped at the chance to go.  I told her if I found one thing I liked, then it was worth the 45 minute drive to the neighborhood I grew up in, which is where she now lives.  It turned out to be a great time and Laura was the perfect partner in crime for this adventure because she’s snarky and awesome like I am.

Of all the trendy restaurants and famous local eateries that were there, I was surprised to find that my favorite bite of the day was courtesy of the Arizona Beef Council.  (OK, aside from the huckleberry vodka from 44 North, which I’m going to track down and buy because that was some awesome vodka!)  They served a simple grilled steak with a coffee rub, which was just a mix of ground coffee, brown sugar, course salt, and coarsely ground pepper.  I’m a simple steak girl.  I want my steak to taste like steak.  I don’t need fancy sauces or spices.  My dad always grilled steak with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  This rub, though it goes against my natural instinct for steak, was divine.

While I consider myself a fairly accomplished cook, I’ve been historically terrible at grilling steak.  I know the two secrets to grilling meat: 1. Take it out of the fridge and let it rest for 15 minutes before grilling, and 2. Let it rest for 10 minutes when you’re done grilling.  My main issue is this, I always always always over-cook my steak.  I think it’s equal parts I don’t want my steak mooing and me and not wanting to catch some disease from under-cooking it.

I vowed to myself that I’d become better at grilling, and I took this very delicious opportunity to try it again.  And you know what?  It was perfect.  I’m going to attribute this success to my new grill, and maybe not to my new ability to a) grill steak well, or b) that my tastes have changes (for example, red wine and dark coffee became delicious when I grew to adulthood) and that I’m not scared of a slight under-cooking.  I cooked it to 150, which is medium according to my meat thermometer.  I used tiny (but expensive!  stake is expensive!) filets that grilled pretty quickly over medium-low for about 8 minutes on each side.

The lesson learned today grilling isn’t that hard, you just need practice.  Also, maybe rubbing your meat with a little something isn’t that bad of an idea either.  Have I mentioned that I sometimes have the sense of humor of a 15 year old boy?  Well I do.

Rating: Can I give this a 6?  Maybe that’s going a bit overboard, so let’s just say a hearty 5 out of 5 glasses of wine for this omgdelicious meal.

Cowboy Coffee Rub
Author: Arizona Beef Council
  • 1 tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 12 brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Rub on your meat.
  3. Cook to your specifications.

This entry was posted in 5 Wine Glasses, Beef, Grill. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Rubbing Your Meat

  1. Erin says:

    I remember ALL of our girls night! You were never bad at making steak. In fact, if I remember correctly, you always made wonderful marinades! However, this one looks awesome! And you know how I feel about steak! I will certainly give it a try!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Manda says:

      To be fair, Renee was the grilling pro. That girl was awesome at making us steak! Some day I’m going to post your mashed potato recipe on here. I swear I could eat those for a whole meal!!

  2. Rachel says:

    Well-done on the grilling! That looks about how I like mine. You’re making me hungry.

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