Will Make Men Weep: Chili-Espresso Strip Loin Steaks

27 Aug

“Like butter on the tongue,” is what I told the lovely man who runs the butcher shop at the Farm Boy food store near my house.

I’d purchased two 1″ thick strip loin steaks when they’d been on sale the previous week. The steak was of good quality, but the Chili-Espresso spice rub used prior to grilling pushed this steak experience to spectacular. The rub (from Chatelaine Magazine‘s September 2013 issue, page 80) was a flash to prepare. The chili powder gave the expected zing, while the dark roast coffee deepened the flavour and smoothed some of the fire.

Chili-Espresso Strip Loin Steaks, grilled medium-rare.

Chili-Espresso Strip Loin Steaks, grilled medium-rare.

The strip loins and the Grilled Balsamic Cafe Mushrooms cooked in 10 minutes. With a more elaborate side than scrubbed raw market garden carrots this meal would be a simple, yet impressive, one for guests.

Chili-Espresso Strip Loin & Grilled Balsamic Cafe Mushrooms with fresh market carrots and organic mixed greens salad

Chili-Espresso Strip Loin & Grilled Balsamic Cafe Mushrooms with fresh market carrots and organic mixed greens salad

The most onerous part of this recipe was getting to a coffee shop that sold good quality, instant dark-roast coffee. I purchased mine from Starbucks. One of their individual-serving sized tubes provided just the right measure for this recipe.

I made the full quantity of the rub Chatelaine proposed for 8 – 250 g steaks, 1″ thick. I used more than the recommended 3/4 teaspoon of rub per steak and used a slightly smaller steak of about 200 g. The flavours were not overpowering for my taste. Store the rest of the rub in a 1/2 cup mason jar or a spice jar for future use. I think it would be great for BBQ’d bone-in pork chops.

1" thick strip loins, instant coffee granules, sea salt, chili powder, black pepper and brown sugar.

1″ thick strip loins, instant coffee granules, sea salt, chili powder, black pepper and brown sugar.

CHILI-ESPRESSO STRIP LOIN STEAKS              Serves: 2 + extra rub

Ingredients:

  • 2                                       strip loin steaks, min 1″ thick, 200 – 250 g each
  • 2 tsp (10 mL)                  kosher salt
  • 2 tsp (10 mL)                  brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL)                  chili powder
  • 1 tsp ( 5 mL)                   coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ( 5 mL)                   instant coffee granules [I used Starbucks VIA French Roast]

Instructions:

1.     In a small bowl (or 1/2 cup mason jar), combine all dry ingredients except the coffee. Crush the coffee granules between your fingers before adding to the mixture. Stir well to combine.

2.    Trim away any excess fat from the steaks. Make shallow cuts, about 1″ apart, around the edge of each steak. This will help prevent the beef from curling when grilled.

3.     Use approx. 1/2 teaspoon of spice rub on each side of the steak. Rub into the meat with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Set aside to allow meat to come to room temperature while you prepare the other elements of your meal.

Grill on Medium-High, lid up.

Grill on Medium-High, lid up.

4.     When ready to cook, pre-heat barbecue to Medium-High heat. Oil the grill. Cook the steaks over medium-high heat, with the lid open, about 5 – 6 minutes per side for medium-rare steaks.

. . . approx. 5 - 6 minutes per side for Medium-rare steaks.

. . . approx. 5 – 6 minutes per side for Medium-rare steaks.

5.     Remove to a cutting board and allow the meat the rest about 5 minutes before serving. This permits the beef juices to re-distribute throughout the steak, improving overall flavour.

GRILLED BALSAMIC CAFE MUSHROOMS                             Serves: 2

Cafe (brown) mushrooms EVOO, Balsamic vinegar and metal skewers.

Cafe (brown) mushrooms EVOO, Balsamic vinegar and metal skewers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 227 g package           Cafe (brown) mushrooms, 8 – 10 large caps
  •  2 – 3 drizzles                   Extra-virgin olive oil (enough to coat outside of mushrooms)
  • 1+  splash                        Balsamic vinegar
  • pinch                                sea salt

Instructions:

1.     Wipe mushroom caps clean and cut off stems.

2.     In a medium-sized bowl, toss caps with EVOO, balsamic vinegar and salt until mushrooms are coated with oil.

Toss until mushrooms are well coated with olive oil. Skewer.

Toss until mushrooms are well coated with olive oil. Thread onto skewers.

3.     Thread caps through BBQ skewers (I used metal ones)

4.      Place on a pre-heated medium-high grill, turning every 2 1/2 minutes per side. Grill, uncovered, until the  mushrooms soften with prominent grill marks (about 10 minutes in total).

Grill all 4 sides , approx. 2.5 minutes per side.

Grill all 4 sides , approx. 2.5 minutes per side.

Grilled in about 10 minutes.

Grilled in about 10 minutes.

Note:     If making these mushrooms with another meal, they may be grilled over medium heat, with the barbecue lid down, turning frequently. They should cook within 10 – 15 minutes.

Steak as tender as butter on the tongue.

Steak as tender as butter on the tongue.

I served the grilled steak and mushrooms with a mixed greens salad and some fresh local carrots from the market. I simply scrubbed them clean and ate them raw. You’ll enjoy the Chili-Espresso Strip Loins with a spicy, full-bodied red. I know I did. And pass the tissues to your male guest(s).

 

 

 

 

 

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