I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that Mr. SGCC is a card carrying, dyed-in-the-wool carnivore. In fact, I’ve actually referred to him as a caveman
(in the nicest possible way, of course) in the past. He not only loves meat, he lives for it! So, when I came home from work the other day with a hefty package of prime, dry-aged ribeye steaks, he was a happy caveman indeed. And, when Mr. SGCC is happy, we’re all happy!
While I don’t share the same fanatical devotion to beef, I have to admit, those steaks were gorgeous! I really didn’t need to do anything to them at all except toss them on the grill, but then I wouldn’t have had anything to write about. Plus, these splendid specimens of bovine perfection deserved to be showed off a little. Marinating them would have been sacrilegious, so I decided to dress them up with one of my favorite dry rubs – a spicy, smoky cacao nibs spice rub
I normally use this rub on less luxurious cuts of beef, like skirt or flank steak, but I really love the flavors and thought it would work well on these steaks. I was right. The rub gave the steaks just the right amount of “oomph” to transform them from mere excellence into something spectacular!
Ribeye Steaks with a Spicy, Smoky, Cacao Nibs Rub
Inspired by John Scharffenberger
4 tablespoons cacao Nibs
2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons brown sugar, packed (Use less or more according to your taste.)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2-4 generously-sized ribeye steaks, at least 1 inch thick
Combine all ingredients except the steaks in the bowl of a food processor, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle. Grind until the nibs break into particles the size of large grains of sand. The rub can be stored in a tightly covered jar for up to 1 month.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse and pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Generously coat each with the rub on both sides and wrap in foil or plastic wrap. Put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The steaks can sit overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a large oven-proof skillet or frying pan over high heat. (I use a cast iron skillet.) Sear the steaks for about 3 minutes on each side or until a nice crust forms. Finish cooking the steaks in the oven until they are done the way you like them.
Let the steaks rest a few minutes before cutting to seal in the juices.
Beat your fists against your chest and enjoy!