Ancho-Chocolate Steak Rub

RubBowlbfAll right, I am mostly recovered from FoodFest 2011 yesterday, and can now complete the post for this very nice twist on a spice rub for meat.

Rich pulled this little book insert – ‘The Beef Checkoff’ – from some magazine or another – and took an instant liking to the sounds of this dry rub: ancho chili powder (we just AnchoSteakDonebfLOhappened to have picked up a packet at the Spice Merchants in Douglas), fresh garlic, unsweetened chocolate, orange zest, and stuff.


And, I think, nicely done – the steaks came off the grill with a bit of a crust, but pink and juicy inside – just the way I like ‘em.

•1 tbsp ancho chili powder
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1-1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
•1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp freshly grated orange peel

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and apply evenly to all sides of your beef of choice. This amount was just about right for these two lovely little boneless beauties from Costco’s meat SteaksRestbfLOcase. I brought them up to room temperature and then patted the rub mixture well into both sides – I tried to do the edges, but there really wasn’t enough of the rub left.

When the time came to grill; Rich applied some olive oil to the grates and toasted these puppies for his usual four to five minutes per side, then brought them inside to rest for ten minutes while we put the rest of dinner together – I did a riff on sweet potato hash using Yukon Gold potatoes and finishing them in a foil pouch on the grill – ermmm, so it wasn’t really sweet potatoes and it wasn’t really hash – but it was tasty!

01MarsBobMehranbfLOOh, and FoodFest 2011?

Fun! A small-ish group got together to share cool food finds – from the touristy pleasures of Mars’ Cheese Castle (now in a REAL kinda, sorta castle-like building, but still just off the freeway), to the classic no-frills charm of Tenuta’s in Kenosha – and a fine Chicago dog fresh from the grill at a table by the side o’ the road while a kindly gentleman of a certain age played ‘Love is a Many 02TenutasDelibfLOSplendored Thing’ and other classics on his electric organ; and you know what? It all worked. One caveat – unless you’ve time to spare – DON’T ORDER THE PANINI! They are tasty and all that, but I swear they cook them in Racine or something – Bob and Don and I had all long finished our sausage/hot dog lunch by the time Golnaz and Mehran (‘Ron’ – or sometimes ‘Herman’ – for takeaway name purposes) finally got their, very nice, chicken and ‘shroom paninis.

04MarianosProducebfLOCheese Castle and Italian deli place done, we swung by our house to drop stuff in the fridge and/or freezer – before continuing our food quest. Timing was not good to check out Bende for some of those nice looking Hungarian sausages, so we opted to head directly to the new Mariano’s Fresh Market in Vernon Hills. Nice place. CRAZY BUSY! Still – we found some really nice giardiniera sausages as well as some with chicken, spinach, and feta cheese to round out our dinner menu –  hey – all this running around to food spots and sipping wine and nibbling cheeses and crackers and savories and stuff can certainly leave one feeling just a bit peckish…

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