Like I said yesterday, we really can't get sick of Mexican food, right?
We definitely can't. We don't make a ton of steak in our house, but when we do we want it to be GREAT. Super flavorful, salty and crusty, red on the inside, all the good stuff. Mole sauce is one of those quintessential Mexican dishes, but it involves a ton of ingredients, steps and time. So, I thought, what if we take some common mole flavors and stick them onto a steak?
Then I thought of how some fancy steakhouses crust their steaks in coffee, and THIS was born. It has your fav Mexican spice blend with cocoa AND instant coffee mixed right in. If it sounds strange to you just give it a whirl - the chocolate and coffee flavors are closer to the flavor of beef than you think, and this is definitely not a dessert or sweet-tasting steak. DEFINITELY.
You can use any steak you like, but I went all out with the grass-fed sirloin. It has a little bit of marbling for flavor but not a ton. A ribeye or NY steak would also be great for this application. You'll also need butter for cooking the steak because butter + cast iron + steak is really the only way to do a good steak justice, I promise. I know that grilling steak feels fancy, but you know all that stuff that drips between the grill grates? It tastes great and you just let it burn into a mess at the bottom of your grill. Cast iron is your go-to for steaks, trust me.
For the spice blend you'll need cumin, chili powder, instant coffee powder, cocoa powder, hot paprika (or cayenne, just something spicy), onion powder, garlic powder, and seasoned salt.
So it's easy! Just mix all the ingredients for the spice blend in a bowl.
Then, rub it all over the meat. Use as much of the spice blend as you can - we want it to be hugely flavorful.
Now, to cook this you'll want to preheat the pan to medium-high for about 10 minutes, then add the butter. The butter should foam and brown almost immediately. That's how you'll know it's ready. Now add the steak!
Cook the steak to your preference, but only flip it ONCE, and don't mess with it when you aren't flipping it. That'll let the spices make a nice crust on the outside of the meat. I know this looks super crazy dark, but we started with the color of coffee, so a burnt look is honestly perfect. For this steak, which was about an inch thick at the thickest point, I'd do about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, and go up a little bit for more cooked.
When the steak is done on both sides, let it rest before you slice it.
This steak was almost totally cold before I cut into it and LOOK at how much juice still came out. In this case it's no problem because I have this lip on my cutting board, so after I slice the steak I drizzle the juices back over the meat before I serve.
Now, like I was saying about Mexican meals, this one can get pretty involved pretty fast. This would go great with fajita veggies, rice, black or refried beans, fresh lettuce/tomato/onion, sour cream, crumbled white cheese, fresh or pickled jalapenos, lime wedges....see what I mean? The list gets long fast. I love stuff like this for parties because YOU can make the meat and let people bring other stuff to go with it. Perfect, huh?
This is on your list for tomorrow, please tell me it is.
Mole Crusted Steak
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon hot paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- ⅔ pound steak about 1 inch thick, any kind that you like
- 2 tablespoons butter
- In a small dish, combine all the spices with your fingers. Taste the mixture, and add more salt if you'd like.
- Rub the spice mixture all over the steak on all sides. Let the steak rest on the counter while you preheat a cast iron or heavy skillet to medium-high heat. When the skillet is very hot, add the butter and let it foam and brown, then add the steak.
- Cook the steak for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, adjusting the time to cook the steak to your preference. Only turn the steak once, this will allow the spices to get crusty and cook into the meat.
- When the meat is done, let it rest on a cutting board for 15-20 minutes, then thinly slice it. Save any juices that run out and pour over the steak before serving.
- Serve with your favorite Mexican-style meal. Enjoy!