rubs

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Beef Spice Rubs

So, I’ve been gearing up for the cooking competition (technically I think it’s just a showcase, but I bet there will be judging or others eating…so I call it a competition) which lay ahead (the one I’m being sponsored to compete in by the Missouri Beef Council that I mentioned in an earlier post.)  I’ve been doing a lot of cooking with different cuts of beef (mmm…rib eye), but mainly I’ve been thinking.

Amongst the major proteins, red meat, and steak in particular, has one unique property that I have to account for in the competition: it tastes good by itself.  You can take a steak, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, let heat do its thing for 2-3 minutes per side plus 6-8 minutes in the oven and you have a masterpiece…and you didn’t have to fuss one second . With a good steak, the best thing you can do is get out of its way.

But This is Still a Competition

I keep seeing the judges’ face (who look a lot like Tom Colicchio in my mind’s eye) as they examine  my perfectly cooked steak and giving me the “all  you did was add salt and pepper to this steak?  Please pack your knives and go” look.  No, wait, Padma’s there, too.  Which starts Mrs. WellDone yelling at me because I’m spending time with that woman and suddenly, this imagining is getting me into a lot of trouble…

Anyway, until Sunday,  my thought was that this competition will live and die on the sides I prepare.  Which is why I have been cooking sides.  Lots of sides.  And maybe a sauce.  So I’ve been cooking sauces.

But then it occurs to me…I could choose spice rubs other than salt and pepper.  Theywouldn’t need to be as aggressive as the rub I’d put on BBQ or chicken or slow cooked Mexican pork because they would tend to hide the flavor of the steak.  But, a little rub might be just the trick.

Here’s three rubs I am seriously considering.

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