Here’s a simple tip for making an economical cut of meat delicious—and a nice use for your leftover joe, too, because why not make use of every last drop?
Why I love this recipe: Grilling is a cooking process that too often overly dries thinner or less expensive cuts of meat. My coffee marinade imparts a wonderful, earthy character to the meat while also plumping it up, keeping it moist throughout the grilling process. Sure a super-fat T-bone steak would retain its moistness, but who can afford cuts like that for the whole family? As an experiment, I grilled my top round coffee-marinated steak alongside a rib eye steak treated only with dry rub. The top round was half the price, but tasted twice as good, thanks to its little bath in bean juice!
Steaks for grilling or broiling
(I use top round)
Salt & Pepper
Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Scallions or shallots (optional)
Steak dry rub (optional)
Step 1: Purchase meat
Go for an economical cut. (I use top round steak.) Pound the steak out with the spike side of a meat hammer. If you don’t have a meat hammer, then put your steak in a plastic bag and pound it with a regular hammer or the back of a ladle – and then prick it all over with a fork. This starts the tenderizing process. (It also gets all kinds of frustrations out. Who needs therapy when you can pound meat?)
Step 2: Cover with coffee
Place your steaks in a glass or plastic container and pour enough cold coffee over them to cover. You can use any kind of coffee. Just save the last dregs of your coffee pot for a few days (store in fridge) and you should have enough for the marinade.
Step 3: Add a little seasoning
Add a tablespoon of salt (I like sea salt), a dash of pepper, and (optional) a couple of diced scallions or shallots along with a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Cover the container with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 to 3 hours. No longer.
Step 4: Remove and grill
Pull the steaks out of the container and discard the liquid. Do not rinse. Just apply a favorite dry rub. There are many dry steak rubs available in your grocery aisle. (My favorite is Szeged brand Steak Rub in the cute little black metal can. Pictured right.) Cook your coffee-marinated steaks on a charcoal or gas grill, or broil the meat in the oven.
When my amateur sleuth, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi, made a version of this dish in Through the Grinder, she cooked it in a cast iron skillet on the top of her stove. The stovetop is a great option, too, because it allows for pan drippings, which means...gravy! So I couldn’t resist having Clare whip up a delish side dish of Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Hearty Coffee Gravy. Yes. Coffee gravy! Lol! You can find those recipes in the back of Through the Grinder, too.
To find out more about my culinary mystery series, visit my Coffeehouse Mystery Web site, where you’ll find more recipes, as well. BTW yesterday (July 23rd) was the birthday of one of my favorite writers, Raymond Chandler. Did you know Chandler didn’t publish his first story until the age of 45 after he lost his executive position in an oil company during the Great Depression? Read more at my virtual coffeehouse home… http://coffeehousemystery.com/
Cheers, everyone, have a great weekend! ~Cleo