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Recipe: Coffee-Rubbed Steak

Coffee is such a versatile kitchen staple. Over time, you’ll find it jumps from the brewing pot to the stove in remarkable ways.


Among carnivores, coffee has long been praised for both its flavor-enhancing and tenderizing superpowers. Acidic notes in coffee marry well with savory meats, especially when paired with spices like paprika, chili powder, coriander or garlic.


Brown sugar, mustard powder and salt are also welcome at this party. Or you can spice things up with ginger and oregano. Your target ratio is for the dry coffee to be roughly equal to all the other ingredients combined.


Experiment with flavors that appeal to you, blending these with finely ground coffee to create a custom dry rub that elevates just about any cut of meat, caramelizing into a delicious crust that seals in moisture when cooking.


Natural enzymes in coffee have a tenderizing effect, which you can boost by first marinating your steak in several cups of strongly brewed, chilled coffee for up to a day in advance.


When you’re ready, pat it dry and rub with your custom spice blend. Let it rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, on up to a couple of hours. Bring the steak back out to sit on the counter until it comes to room temp, getting rid of a chilly center and ensuring the meat cooks more evenly.

If you don’t have a grill, the pan-to-oven method is pretty foolproof. Sear both sides, then finish in a 400-degree oven to desired doneness. Remember to let it rest before slicing, and if you intend to share this masterpiece, prepare for rave reviews at your next dinner party. 

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