Saturday, November 26, 2005

Steak with Espresso Chili Rub

Dry Rub

* 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
* 2 Tablespoons ancho chili powder
* 1 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 heaping Tablespoon Penzey's chili 9000 or your favorite chili powder
* 1/4 cup espresso coffee (ground very fine)
* 1 and a half teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon celery powder
* 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a grinder and grind to a coarse powder. It will keep in the freezer for several months, you will need 1 to 2 Tablespoons for each steak (depending on how zippy you like it)

To prepare steaks:

Preheat oven to 475 - 500 degrees F. for at least 20 minutes.

You will need 1 1/2 to 2 pounds rib eye or other well marbled steak. Brush each side of the steak with olive oil (I used Artisano's Hojiblanca EVOO from Australia) and then rub steak with up to 2 Tablespoons of the dry rub per steak and let sit out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Make sure you have a very heavy duty oven mitt, a couple small pats of butter and a pair of tongs nearby. You will also want to open a window or two and possibly disarm the smoke detector. (you think I'm kidding, don't you :-) Preheat a cast iron pan (just big enough to hold both steaks) over high heat until smoking hot (and I mean smokin!) Do not add any oil, other than what the pan is seasoned with, as the surface of the steak has enough oil to do the trick.

The pan is ready if you add a drop of water and it dances for a second before disappearing.

Place the steaks, rub side down, in the center of pan and sear for exactly one minute. You will think it's burning, it's going to smoke like no one's business, but short of flames shooting to the ceiling, do not mess with it.

Armed with your heavy oven mitt (this pan is HOT and weighs as much as your ammo can) top each steak with a small pat of butter and immediately place the pan in the oven. Roast the steaks for four minutes, then flip with your tongs and roast another two minutes for medium rare. If using a meat thermometer, for medium rare, remove the steaks when the the thermometer is 125 degrees F. (it will continue to cook after removing to bring the temp up to 130 degrees.) Add or subtract 5 degrees F. for medium or rare.

Remove the steaks to a platter and loosely tent with foil for five minutes. The resting time allows the juices to redistribute into the meat making it extra tender.

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