Espresso & Cocoa Rubbed Strip Steaks – My Valentine’s Day
Steak almost always makes an appearance on Valentine’s Day. It’s nostalgic in a classic steak house kind of way. It makes me think of my grandparents, Frank Sinatra, and white linen table cloths. In my opinion a nice juicy cut of steak lends the perfect touch of masculinity to an otherwise overtly feminine day i.e pink hearts and red roses.
Last year Seth and I enjoyed Valentine’s Day in the comfort of our own house with a home cooked meal. This year Seth was working and therefore left me to battle the partially hydrogenated filled chocolates by my lonesome (a battle that I *mostly* won). In attempt to remain festive, I offered to cook a meal for my parents- involving steak of course.
This recipe seemed like a perfect homage to Valentine’s Day. After sampling a similar spice rub at Central Market I knew I had to recreate it at home. The complexly bitter, spicy, and semi-sweet flavor compliments red meat perfectly. I used two half pound grass fed strip steaks but really any cut works; these just happened to be what was available in the grass fed department. After cooking, I sliced them against the grain and served on top of a salad consisting of argula, buffalo mozzarella, and xL grapevine tomatoes. We enjoyed the lightness of the salad paired against the bold beef flavor but the serving possibilities are truly endless.
- 3 Tablespoons Instant Espresso Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
- 4 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 2 Half Pound Strip Steak (Use Grass-fed/Organic if possible)
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl
- Whisk together
- Liberally rub spice mixture onto both sides of steaks
- Let marinate in fridge overnight or at least an hour
- In a cast iron skillet, heat over med. high heat
- Coat pan with oil
- When pan is warmed through, place steaks on pan and cook on one side for about 4 minutes (you should hear a nice sizzle allowing the steak to form a nice a crust)
- After 4 minutes, flip steaks and cook for another 4 minutes
- Remove from pan and let rest on plate for 10 minutes before serving