Monday, April 19, 2010

Steak with Cocoa Nib Rub

I found a series of savoury recipes using cocoa nibs via The Kitchn (some these are really inspiring; just pay no attention to the spelling mistakes in the names of the dishes). The one that caught my eye was elaborated by Scharffen Berger for a tri-tip roast flavoured with a cocoa nib rub. I ended up using steak, but the basic principle was still the same (just adjust cooking according to your meat; I’ll reproduce the instructions for the roast here, even though I myself cooked my steak in a pan for a few minutes on each side).

I have to say that I didn’t use the chili powder in the rub, and I used 1 tsp of red pepper flakes plus 1 tsp of dried Korean pepper (instead of 2 tsp of red pepper flakes); the result was still too spicy for me, but the Engineer loved it. I’d definitely make it again, but I’d adjust the heat level to my preference (and sprinkle extra pepper flakes on the Engineer’s meat if necessary). I served it here with my super easy baked fries with lactose-free goat cheese (notice how I say MY fries already, even though I can take no credit whatsoever for the recipe).

2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
2 tsp dried red pepper flakes (or something milder, or less)
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground (dry) mustard
½ tsp chili powder (optional)
½ tsp allspice
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp Kosher salt
a 2.5 lb tri tip roast (or beef cut of your choice)

To make the rub, combine the cocoa nibs and all spices in the bowl of a food processor, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle. Grind until the nibs break into particles about the size of coarse cornmeal. Use immediately or store in a tightly covered jar for up to one month.

Rinse and pat the roast dry with paper towels. Generously cover the meat with the rub and wrap in foil or saran wrap. The roast can marinate for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove the roast from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. In the meantime, fire up the grill. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking, with the coals to either side. Place the meat on the grill, fat side up, not directly over the coals. The internal grill temperature should be between 275 and 300 °F. Grill the meat for 40 minutes. Check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. Let the roast sit, loosely covered with foil, for several minutes before slicing.

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