Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Coffee-rubbed Flat Iron Steak

I'm really on a roll this week, readers. Inspiration seems to be coming from every angle and I'm concocting recipes en masse for the for the first time ever. I've never been very good at making up a recipe because I'm always so afraid of adding too much of this or not enough of that. Honestly? I think motherhood has made me sort of say, "Eff it. If I mess up, I'll change it around next time." So give a big golf clap to Charlie for giving his mama a big baby chill pill. If it weren't for him, I'd probably just be telling you about all the already-written recipes I've made. Not that following awesome recipes written by others is bad...this is just a nice creative burst that I didn't expect to have.

So as I've said in other posts, I'm a big fan of shopping sales at Whole Foods. Each week, they put a meat on sale for just the day on Friday, so that's usually when I go - to snatch up that protein as well as some of their other weekly sale items, usually in the butcher, produce, and cheese sections. A couple weeks ago, they advertised pastured Flat Iron steak at a steep discount. I'd never heard of the cut so I asked the butcher about it. He told me it just recently became a more popular cut. It is favored because it is cheaper than most fancy cuts, has an optimal thickness for cooking evenly, and yields a reasonable amount of marbling and significant tenderness. Taking all of this in, I shrugged my shoulders and said, "What the heck. I'll take that one." And into the freezer it went, while I tried to come up with some inspiration for cooking it.

I've been wanting to try a coffee rub on steak or pork for some time, but wasn't reminded of it until my trip to a local spice store, last week. I was going to get ingredients to make my own garam masala, but decided to pick up a few more items that I thought might work for a coffee rub. The spice store is so much fun. Buying spices whole and grinding them only when you need them is a great thing when you have a kitchen that tends to hold in humidity like mine does. I often open up pre-ground spice jars to find that the spice has solidified. Now, I just buy them whole and throw the ones I need into a semi-retired coffee grinder and chop chop.

So here's what went into the grinder last night and how it came out. There are a few pre-ground ingredients on the list but I threw it all in to the grinder to mix up.

Coffee Rubbed Flat Iron Steak

For the rub:
1/4 cup of whole coffee beans
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp whole black pepper
1 tsp all natural cocoa powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon or half a small cinnamon stick
5 or 6 whole cloves

For the steak:
One Flat Iron steak (usually about 1.5 lbs)
Olive oil
Sea salt

- Preheat the broiler or a grill
- Put all of the rub ingredients into a coffee or spice grinder and grind as finely as possible. You want to make sure the cloves and cinnamon are ground well because you don't want a mouthful of just those spices ever!
- Take just a bit of olive oil and spread it on both sides of the steak before laying it on a broiler pan, if you are using a broiler. I have a Misto olive oil sprayer, which I prefer to use because it coats so lightly.
- Shake salt on both sided of the steak and rub it in. I did not put the salt in with the rub mix so that the crystals would stay big and give that nice salty crunch.
- Liberally coat both sides of the steak with the rub, making sure to really massage it onto the steak so that it sticks.
- Let the steak sit with the rub for about five minutes before broiling/grilling for five minutes on each side for medium rare.
- Rest the steak for at least five minutes before slicing and serving.
- Store the remaining mixture in an airtight jar for your next meat adventure!

This post is part of Gluten Free Wednesdays, Works for Me Wednesdays, and Real Food Wednesdays.


  1. I love steak and I love coffee. What does the rub taste like once cooked ? I wish we had a whole foods closer. Then again I am sure I would spend too much.

    1. It's hard to explain what it tastes like. Have you ever had mole sauce? It's sort of like that.

    2. I have had mole. I can't wait to try this. Thanks

  2. That looks great. You are on a roll. We love flank steak. We should try to make it to Whole Foods this Friday to see what this week's specials are. We used to follow that pattern all the time when we lived near China Town in Manhattan.