Cowboy Rubbed Rib Eye with Chocolate Stout Pan Sauce

By • December 1, 2009 • 40 Comments

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Author Notes: I started making this rub after reading about cowboy food, they carried with them coffee, salt, pepper and sugar...and they grilled their steaks in cast iron pans...since I do not often find myself on the open range I have to make due with either my grill or during wet yucky weather, my oven. I've added a couple of spices and few non cowboy type extras.. though I'm pretty sure if the cowboys had chocolate stout they would've enjoyed it too. ... on the rare occasions when I have been forced to camp outdoors I've brought pre rubbed steaks with me to get a taste of the old west... If you have no chocolate stout available any dark beer will do, you can also sub red wine, but it will be very different. I like to use a pre heated cast iron pan because in conducts the heat well...and you don't have to turn the meat overAliwaks

Food52 Review: Ground coffee, smoked paprika, cumin, ancho chile and brown sugar form an earthy, flinty rub that smells appealingly of wood smoke. Aliwaks borrows a smart technique from Indian cooking and has you toast the spices over low heat before rubbing them on the steak. Then it's just a matter of searing it in a very hot iron pan and finishing the sauce with some chocolate brown stout, beef stock and a lump of butter. We recommend some corn pudding on the side. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 2

  • 1 Nice, thick rib eye, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, big enough for two
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (we used Diamond Crystal -- you may want to reduce the salt to taste, especially if using Morton's Kosher or other finer salt, see comments)
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (preferably Ancho chile)
  • 1 cup chocolate stout (you'll have to drink the rest)
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (if you are the type to save bacon fat, by all means use it!)
  1. Mix the coffee, salt, paprika, peppers & cumin together and toast lightly in pan until fragrant (alternatively you can toast whole spices then grind). Mix the spices with the sugar to make the rub.
  2. Spread the rub all over the steak and let sit for awhile, if you do it the night before you'll have stronger flavor but if you do it right before serving it'll be good, too. (If you pre-rub and set it in the fridge, be sure to bring it up to room temperature before searing, so you do not shock the meat.)
  3. Heat a cast iron pan until it's really really hot -- a drop of water flicked into the pan should sizzle and bounce. Add vegetable oil, wait a few seconds until the oil heats up, then place the steak in the pan. It should sizzle; leave it there, do not touch it at all for 3-4 minutes. It should be browning on the bottom. Then place it under a hot broiler and broil to medium rare or desired doneness.
  4. Remove the steak and let rest on a warm plate, cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Add the thyme sprig to the pan and let it saute a bit till it gets nice and fragrant. Pour in the chocolate stout and deglaze the pan. Add the beef broth, whisk together and reduce by half over medium heat.
  6. Remove the thyme sprig and whisk in the butter. Season to taste.
  7. Slice the steak on the bias and drizzle the sauce over top. This is YUMMY with creamed spinach and hash browns or baked potato and a nice big salad.
Jump to Comments (40)

Tags: dry rub, steak

Comments (40) Questions (3)

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Stringio

24 days ago Pork n' Tofu

I became so in love with this rub, it seems like we ate it on all our steaks this summer. Tonight we had it again, but on pot roast served with potato Rosti. Divine. Try this rub, it is really great!

Stringio

almost 2 years ago Christopher Cuff

Great Recipe

Kabul1

almost 2 years ago jifferb

This rub is divine! I will use it again and again (i used in ribs the next day). I know you said put it in the pan and leave it there, but I am not so experienced with steak and a friend who was with me in the kitchen insisted that I MUST turn it over and never leave it sit too long - so says Heston Blumethal, he said. So we flipped it repeatedly, only maybe 30 seconds on each side for 4 minutes total and then in the oven for 3 minutes or so - and it was puuuuuuurfect. So I am sticking with the repeated flip technique because it turned out so well. Fabulous recipe - i will use it again and again!

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about 2 years ago t3ch

Tried this last night and it was amazing. By far one of the best recipes I've ever had the pleasure of coming across... So. Freakin. Good.

Thanks for sharing!

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over 2 years ago Drea6681

Question about the broiling technique; do you flip the steak before putting it under the broiler or no? Also, how long should the broil be for rare-medium rare?

Thanks, can't wait to try this.

Kroka_kitchen

about 3 years ago maryvelasquez

We had this tonight for dinner and it was scrumptious. The technique, the flavors, both so great. Wish I'd tried it sooner

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over 3 years ago Kalie Elizabeth

The only cast iron pan I have is more of a griddle, which I can't make a pan sauce in. Do you think I'd get similar results using an All Clad stainless steel pan?

Garlic_cloves_by_sun_soaked_moon

over 3 years ago Kalie Elizabeth

The only cast iron pan I have is more of a griddle, which I can't make a pan sauce in. Do you think I'd get similar results using an All Clad stainless steel pan?

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over 3 years ago usakat02

If I want to bake in the oven does anyone have any suggestions? I'm a new cook :)

My_catering_(2)

over 3 years ago Aliwaks

You could do it in the oven, it might not get the ideal crust in you dont sear first, preheat the oven so it's really hot (500). You can also rub the steak and then grill it and use some beef stock with a pinch of rub to make the sauce on the stove. Start with cup and boil it until it's reduced by half.

My_catering_(2)

almost 4 years ago Aliwaks

I've been thinking about this salt issue and I wonder if since I am a careless, messy sort of person and tend to get the rub all over the place, maybe I am actually getting less salt on my steak than less careless people may be doing. But Merrill & Amanda seem to be careful and precise, so now I'm wondering if maybe it has to do with the thickness of the steak?

Maybe thicker steaks will absorb less salt?

Limonlemon... if your spices are smoking then they are burning... you want to just gently heat the essential oils so they rise up,

Use a really heavy pan on low heat, then lean in and sort of waft the air towards your nose if you smell toasty spices ..then take them off the flame,

R2d2

almost 4 years ago heidiv

Aliwaks, i am a baker by trade and when i try a new recipe i try to follow pretty closely but i did have two steaks and they were a little thinner i put the rub on probably 4 hrs before hand too. i could not find thicker steaks but they were pretty close to an inch thick.
now that i have done this rub once i will adjust it to my tastes. I hope this helps. Thank you!

R2d2

almost 4 years ago heidiv

we liked the steak but the salt was very over whelming for us so we will reduce the amount the next time. And maybe remove some of the rub before cooking it will burn and make it taste a little bitter.

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almost 4 years ago Fran McGinty

I wasn't sure how this would be, because my husband hates coffee. Well It's fantastic.I added a little extra cumin and a little less coffee. He never knew it was in there. I am in love with this site.

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almost 4 years ago Katcook

How long do you broil the steak?

My_catering_(2)

almost 4 years ago Aliwaks

Kat so sorry didn't see this till this morning..hope it turned out well,Q

Dsc04839

almost 4 years ago urbanista!

This and the mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and goat cheese was valentine dinner with my husband. Added red and yellow beets and garlic spinach....yummm! This one is a keeper!

My_catering_(2)

almost 4 years ago Aliwaks

Sounds aaamaazing! ( & pretty!!!!)

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almost 4 years ago Fran McGinty

Thanks for answering. I am new to this fabulous site & I didn't know if anybody would reply. It helps me a lot.

My_catering_(2)

almost 4 years ago Aliwaks

Welcome to Food 52 Fran! How did it come out??

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almost 4 years ago Fran McGinty

I have a question. I love coffee, my husband does not. He hates it. I would love to try this. Does it taste like coffee at all?

My_catering_(2)

almost 4 years ago Aliwaks

UMMM kind of...it's not like you go WOW coffee... if he really really hates coffee leave it out, or use like a teaspoon... you can substitute un-unsweetened cocoa powder.. I've made it that way before.. its different but it works.

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almost 4 years ago artsycella

I made this a couple of nights ago and, sadly, mine also suffered from over-salting. The pan sauce was incredible, and the rub smelled so delicious. I definitely want to try again! Next time I would cut down on the salt a lot, though... probably reduce to about 25%. I used Morton's kosher salt, so maybe that made a difference.

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almost 4 years ago tealeaf

My husband loved it. Cumin and coffee goes wonderfully well together.

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about 4 years ago limonlemon

I've made this twice, once with pork and another time with steak. The only downside of this recipe is that when you're toasting the spices, it *seriously* makes you cough. EVERYONE does. Just turn on a fan, open a few windows, and it'll pass. Other than that, it's delicious, even three days later as a leftover sandwich. Definitely a keeper.

Port-cuts

almost 5 years ago mt97

This is the second time I've made this steak, and I have to agree that the two tablespoons of salt made the dish salty. The second time, I halved the salt in the rub and the steak was excellent. We use Diamond Crystal as well...This recipe is definitely a keeper, but I'm going to recommend less salt to those that might be salt-sensitive.

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almost 5 years ago cheese1227

Plans got foiled and I didn't have the bandwidth to make the pan sauce but the steaks with this rub were still outstanding!

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almost 5 years ago diana909

we also use diamond crystal. it's just us, i suppose!

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almost 5 years ago diana909

We tried this and found it to be salty - 2 T. kosher salt to 1 T. coffee? Made it a second time with less salt, something like 2 t. - and loved it, coffee flavor really came through with less salt. Did anyone else find this, or perhaps it's just our tastebuds?

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

We didn't find it too salty. Which Kosher salt are you using? Morton's has more salinity than Diamond Crystal (which is what we use).

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almost 5 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Congratulations for your winning recipe.
Would have never imagined to mix coffe in a rub but there you go, always learning.
Thank you for sharing it.

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almost 5 years ago dymnyno

I love this rub...soooo red wine friendly...my kind of meat preparation. CONGRATULATIONS!

My_catering_(2)

almost 5 years ago Aliwaks

Collin, true that, so it's not an all the way broiled steak. I start it in the stovetop and finish it in the broiler to cut down on the smokiness, and so I don't have to flip in the broiler, my broiler is on the bottom of my stove and I always get nervous flipping meat over down there. I appreciate your vote ;)

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almost 5 years ago Collin

I'm going to vote for this one because it's delicious . . . but it's prettty obviously not a broiled steak. Just because it gets tossed under the broiler for a bit doesn't really cut it, because you could have just left it in the scorching-hot pan and accomplished the same thing. Still, a delicious recipe, and very like Dean Fearing's coffee-crusted tenderloin at the Mansion on Turtle Creek.

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

We've got a weird, very low-profile broiler underneath our oven that our iron skillet is too big to fit under, so when we had this over the weekend my husband seared it on the stovetop and then chucked the iron skillet into a 500 degree oven just until the steak reached about 130-135. He let it rest tented in foil while I made the pan sauce back on the stovetop, and our steak turned out perfectly medium rare. I think the rub and the sauce had excellent, rich flavor, so it's still a great dish.

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almost 5 years ago Nomore Crockpot

Mmmmmm. I'm going to try with Chimay, my favorite Belgium beer.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yummmm...i'm craving steak now. and coffee. and stout.

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

We had this last night and it was fabulous. Great recipe!

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almost 5 years ago dymnyno

I love coffee rub...great with big red wines!

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

I love steaks with a coffee rub, and your pan sauce sounds great.