I am not a huge fan of spice mixes; I figure that I can easily make something very like whatever the mix may be at home, and better! There are a few exceptions: Japanese Seven Spice, Gateway to the North Seasoning, Caribbean Calypso… all, as it happens, from The Spice House, my most favored of all spice merchants.
So it wasn’t that big a surprise that we came away from a visit to the mother store with a jar of Quebec Beef Spice, a blend of peppers, garlic, coarse salt, and coriander seed.
Fortunately, the nice folk at TSH offer suggestions and recipes, and I just so happened to have some steaks in the freezer…
•3 tbsp Quebec beef spice
•2/3 cup red wine vinegar
•1/3 cup olive oil
•1 tsp Earl’s
•1 tbsp butter
Funny thing, I mis-read the recipe when I first downloaded it, and thought that the butter and 1 tablespoon of beef stock (which I had already substituted with 1 teaspoon of Earl’s Five Pepper Hot Sauce) was added to the marinade with the seasoning, vinegar, and olive oil; but they were meant to be added to leftover marinade at the end to make a jus – OOOPS! In the end, we quite liked the steaks, but were not impressed with the jus I tried to salvage from my mistake, so you do what you like.
However you come to do it, combine the seasoning with the vinegar and olive oil (and the butter and Earl’s, if you like – it WAS quite tasty), and pour over the steaks. I started with the steaks and the marinade in a large covered bowl, but switched to a gallon zipper bag, which made it much easier to mash the marinade into the meat, and to flip it all to coat everything. Stash in the fridge for at least 4 hours, flipping everything when you think of it.
Rich was going to grill our steaks, so I pulled the bag out of the fridge about an hour before he was set to start and let the steaks come up to room temperature.
He brushed the grates with a bit of olive oil, then cooked the steaks to a very nice medium rare while I got on with making the jus and finishing the rest of the meal.
The steaks were lovely. Nicely seasoned, and very nicely charred from the grill.
The jus was a disappointment – salty and really not all that good – so I was just as happy that I’d mis-read the original recipe.
BTW, the grilled asparagus and fried potatoes with spicy aioli were also quite tasty, so we didn’t really miss the jus.
As it happened, we had too much steak, so I sautéed the leftovers in a bit of butter for dinner the next night, and we were both most pleased.