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Secret Ingredient: Coffee

To me, Crate and Barrel is a sort of cook’s Mecca. It’s where all the most elegant and secretly useful (miniature doughnut pans for example) kitchen tools are sold, and when I visit I am overwhelmed by beauty.

This love for Crate and Barrel runs in my family because my mom and dad are also obsessed. Once they got drunk at happy hour and then went to Crate and Barrel afterwards. I ended up with a miniature cheese slicer, ornately carved wooden tongs and three different packets of spice rubs among many other gifts after their intoxicated outing.

One of the spice packets they gave me was a coffee meat rub. At first this sounded like a strange flavor combination. Ground coffee is overwhelming bitter, and I never have black coffee myself. If I ever have coffee I like to have so much vanilla coffee mate, that that is the dominant flavor, oh yeah and I need at least four packs of Splenda. So I was clearly hesitant to try this rub, despite my love and trust in Crate in Barrel.

Well I recently tried it on a steak and let me say, it was life changing. The bitter coffee transforms a cheap steak into a decadent, smoky and very flavorful meal. No need to smother the steak with barbecue sauce or red wine reduction with this rub.

When looking at food blogs I found this to be a common “secret ingredient” in other chef’s meals. I have rounded up some of my favorite recipes and I suggest you give this seemingly strange rub a try for yourself!

Click on the pictures for recipes!

Coffee rubbed ribs

Cheeseburger with coffee rub

Grilled pork chops with coffee rub

Coffee rubbed steak

Coffee rubbed pork tenderloin

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