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Coffee Rubbed Steaks with Herby Tomato Salad

If you’re feeling uninspired after throwin’ the same old steak on the barbee for the hundredth time, here is a delicious and easy way to *rev* things up. These Coffee Rubbed Steaks with Herby Tomato Salad have been relished by my whole family this summer! They make for a stunning buffet centerpiece and lack for nothing in terms of flavor. The magic lies in the spicy, dark crust that the steaks develop while they sear on the grill: a mixture of spices, chili, a little sugar and finely ground coffee (trust me, it’s great), the earthy rub is the perfect compliment to a juicy New York Strip or cut of your choice. Just like me, steaks might be at their best caffeinated!

Don’t be shy when seasoning your steaks- you want to coat them with a generous amount of the rub to achieve that wonderful bark! And this isn’t a step I would suggest doing too far in advance- the salt in the rub can draw some of the moisture out of the beef and effect the texture of your final product, so seasoning them right before grilling or while they rest to come to room temperature is absolutely fine. I prefer my steaks medium rare to medium, but cook yours to your preference- just keep in mind that the temperature will rise at least 10 degrees while they rest. I always, always use a meat thermometer when grilling for accuracy! After they have had time to rest (very important- do not skip), slice them very thinly against the grain (also important) and arrange the slices in a slightly overlapping pattern on a platter. The contrast between the pink meat and the blackened crust makes for a gorgeous visual, amplified by that colorful and glossy tomato salad.

Speaking of the tomato salad, it’s really more than just a “salad”- it’s also a condiment and a sauce for the beef, almost a chunky salsa. I like the let the tomatoes and shallots hang out in the vinaigrette while I prep the rest of the recipe to enhance their flavor. Then, the herbs get added right before I plate and serve so that they don’t go brown on me. Leaving the herb leaves whole make this component more “salad like” and chunky- which is good! Any tender fine herbs you have on hand or prefer will work, but I use a combo of basil, mint, parsley and cilantro. All of those or a mix of 2 or 3 would also be fine, just avoid heartier herbs like rosemary and sage as they will be too overpowering and tough. Pile the salad in the center of the beef and dig in!

This is summer entertaining at it’s finest- a simple grilling main that will stun and have everyone going back for seconds (ps- make a little extra for amazing next day leftovers). There’s nothing boring about this one! This recipe is my kind of coffee break. Enjoy!


prep time: ~1 hr (includes steaks coming to room temperature before grilling) cook time: ~30 min. serves: 6


2-1/2 lbs thick New York Strip steaks, or similar cut (about 3 large) extra virgin olive oil

flaky salt

COFFEE SPICE RUB 2 tbsp finely ground coffee

1 tbsp packed dark brown sugar

1 tbsp ancho chili powder

1-1/2 tbsp kosher salt

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground black pepper

HERBY TOMATO SALAD 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tsp kosher salt

ground black pepper

1 small shallot, sliced into thin rings

10 oz halved cherry tomatoes, quartered if large (about 2 cups)

1 cup packed fine herbs, stemmed but leaves left whole (for example, an even combination of parsley, cilantro, basil and/or mint)



Make the coffee spice rub by combining all the ingredients in small bowl. Coat steaks all over with a thin layer of olive oil. Liberally dust with a generous amount of the rub to coat the steaks evenly on all

sides (store the rest of rub in an airtight container for another use). Let them rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour while you prepare the grill and the salad.

Preheat the grill to 425°. Start the salad by whisking the sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and a few cranks of pepper together in the bottom of a medium bowl. Add the shallot and tomato and toss to coat. Let the tomatoes and shallots marinate on the counter while you grill the steaks.

When the grill is at temperature, Lightly oil the grate and put the coffee rubbed steaks on to sear 5-7 min per side, or until the internal temperature registers 125° for medium rare (130° for medium- remember that the temperature will rise 10 degrees as they rest). Pull them off to rest on a carving board for 10 min. They should have a nice charred crust!

Thinly slice the steak against the grain and arrange on a platter in an overlapping pattern. Add the herbs to the tomato salad and toss again right before serving. Pile the tomato salad in the center of the sliced meat. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and flaky salt. Serve warm or room temperature.

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