Grilling season is neigh, my friends. Well, unless you’re like me and live in Florida. Then, it’s usually never a bad time to fire up that ever enjoyable outdoor cooking apparatus. Now, if you happen to be in the northern reaches of the country and are still hesitant to embrace the charcoal life because of that jerk-ass named Jack Frost, fear not…I do declare that the early evening, summertime scent of charred meat has nearly arrived. Yes. All those feels. Soon to appear.
MEAT, MEET MY RUB
WARNING. This is not a steak recipe for the spice-challenged, or the caffeine-opposed. There’s a deep-end of flavor depth going on here. I do realize that the steak purist will shout from the peak of Cow Mountain (not a real place), that all one needs to grill a great steak is simply salt and pepper. Agreed. When indulging in a succulent Rib Eye, or a meaty NY Strip, this method trumps all…or is that Drumph’s all…I digress. These cuts don’t need help. Some need assistance. And as delicious as it is…Flank Steak is one of them. So, here’s how to make the most of that ever affordable slab of beef. A “kitchen sink” style dry rub with an ingredient a lot of folks wouldn’t think of using outside of a mug of hot water…Espresso Powder.
As with all of my recipes, these are approximate measurements. Basically it’s equal amounts of all ingredients.
Espresso Dry Rub Stuff
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp. Season Salt (use Lawry’s…it’s the best, Jerry)
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp. Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp. Instant Espresso Powder
- 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
Take all the ingredients and mix ’em in a bowl. Then, liberally sprinkle over both sides of a 2-3 lb. Flank Steak, rubbing the spice mixture into the meat. Place in a shallow dish (if you haven’t already), cover with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for a couple hours…or just toss it on the grill if you’re pressed for time. You be you.
MEAT, MEET FIRE
Once the requisite couple hours have passed (if you have that kind of time), remove the steak from the fridge, oil up them grill grates and pre-heat over high heat. And when I say high heat, I mean as high as you can get it. You want a super hot grill surface to get those fancy (and tasty) grill marks. Also, with Flank Steak being fairly thin, the high heat helps in not letting it over cook and turn into shoe leather. Nobody wants to eat shoe leather. Unless you’re a dog. And dogs can’t read or cook, so why are we even having this conversation?
Once your grill is screamin’ hot (about 10-15 min of pre-heating), it’s time to toss that super flavorful piece of meat on there. For medium-rare (the CORRECT temp to consume a steak), grill for about 5-7 min per side depending on thickness. I usually like to turn the steak at a 45 deg. angle after a couple minutes to get those steak-house approved diamond shaped grill marks. Yeah, that’s right. I’m fancy. I also like to keep the grill lid open for the 1st side, then close the lid for side two. I don’t know. I think it makes for a better end product. I could also be doing it all wrong. All I know is that when I take that steak off the grill, let it rest for 10 min, then cut into it (across the grain) and eat a small serving whilst standing over the cutting board…let’s just say, if meat were religion I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!!!
I think it’s time for a BEER PAIRING!!!
Breakfast Stout (American Double / Imperial Stout)
Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI)
Brewed with flaked oats, bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee, this is the best of the best when it comes to coffee stouts. It’s indulgent, it’s rich, it’s fairly high in alcohol content (8.3 ABV’s), yet not at all boozy and highly drinkable. The coffee in the beer will perfectly complement the coffee in the dry rub. Now, I do realize that it’s only available from September – December, but I choose this one in particular, because it really is the gold standard for this style. If you have another favorite coffee-based brew that is readily available, have at it. It’ll have a similar effect.
MEAT, MEET LEFTOVERS
What I usually like to do with this (and most 0f my protein-based recipes, for that matter), is make two steaks with the intention of eating off of the 2nd one for the rest of the week, ’cause let’s be honest…there will be close to nothing left of that one steak once you start eating it.
I usually re-purpose the leftover steak for brunch (mixed in with scrambled eggs or topping huevos rancheros), make a litanny of Mexican inspired deliciousness (burritos, tacos, quesadillas), make a simple sammy with cheddar, or a salad with avocado, black olives and tomatoes.
So, to all my hibernating friends waiting for winter’s death grip to be released…rub the sleep from those eyes, uncover that grill and make Mother Nature your bitch. Unless it’s snowing again. Then, you may as well just move.