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Cowboy Coffee-Rubbed Ribeyes

The cowboys knew the secret to a great drink was equally true for a great steak: coffee and sugar!


Boneless ribeye steak (pictured) cooks so quickly, which makes it ideal for a weeknight meal. But bone-in ribeye gives a little something extra to chew on: that coffee-coated bone!

Oh, it's so good! And oh so simple. I use a finely ground, absolutely exquisite Ethiopian coffee from BD Provisions to make this rub. The roasted aroma, the full-bodied bitterness of the coffee mellowed by the sweetness of the brown sugar, the subtle hints of garlic and ginger all married with some paprika...this is good stuff. The very best part? You just toss it all together, slap it on the steak, and voila! That's pretty much it.

Equipment: cutting board; chef's or carving knife; dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; small mixing bowl; spoon or spatula

Ingredients: 1 lb. 1-inch ribeye steaks 1/2 cup finely ground coffee 1/2 cup light brown sugar 2 tablespoons ground ginger

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons paprika*

1 tablespoon kosher salt

vegetable oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


“An important ILOC tip: use decaffeinated coffee. You don't want your steak to keep you up all night.”

1. Preheat your grill. If you do not have a grill, use a cast iron pan.

2. Brush both sides of the steaks with oil and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

3. Combine the coffee, sugar, and measured spices in a bowl. Rub each side of the steaks generously with the mixture until well coated, approximately 1-2 tablespoons.


4. Place the steaks on the hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes. You want the grill very hot when you start but do adjust/lower the heat if needed so that you do not burn the steak. After 3-4 minutes, or once the surface proteins have sufficiently coagulated so that the steak is no longer sticking to the grill, flip the steak and continue cooking for approximately another 2 minutes for rare, 3 minutes for medium rare, 4 minutes for medium, and 5-6 minutes for well done (but I beg you do not do that).


5. Remove the steaks to a cutting board and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing against the grain to serve.


Serves 2-3 people.


This rub could be used on pork chops or pork loin. If using the rub for a brisket, be sure to rub the brisket the night before you wish to cook--and wrap it and refrigerate it--so that you maximize the coffee flavor for that cut of beef.

Hot v. Smoky and Less v. More

If you like spice and heat, use hot paprika. Otherwise, sweet or smoked paprika is the perfect choice. You can add other spices like chili, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and coriander (even some spices that do not begin with the letter "C" like oregano or dry mustard). I personally prefer to keep it simple and use fewer ingredients so that the namesake ingredient really shines. Remember: it's about technique not torture. Mess with the ratios and the ingredients to make this coffee rub your own!


"This recipe is all about the quality of the ingredients: the finest coffee with the best prime beef. The result is simple, superb flavor and texture."

Each bite of this succulent steak is a perfect umami explosion: the bitter coffee and sweet sugar pair up with the spicy ginger and garlic to knock you out, thanks in no small part to the fat in the steak, which is the ultimate flavor receptor.

Make a Double or Triple Batch of the Rub for Gifts!

Why is she giving me more work to do, you might be thinking. I'm not, I promise! I'm telling you the truth: this will save you lots of time this summer. Why not bring a jar of this spice rub as a hostess gift? Who needs to run to the store to grab yet another bottle of Chardonnay? When summer BBQ season is in high gear, you can be all set for weeks of social engagements by bottling this concoction and placing it in pretty jars. Store the finished product in the refrigerator and grab it when you are ready to gift it. I like to give this as a party favor when I host a BBQ and serve Cowboy Coffee Rubbed Ribeyes...because It's Lauren, of Course!



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© 2019 by It's Lauren, of Course!