Coffee steak? Coffee on a steak? Actual coffee grounds on a steak? I know most people when thinking of grilling a steak are not thinking of coffee as a rub or even as a drink to have with it. It sounds a little nuts, but trust me, it’s outstanding.
First off, I want to point out what cut of steak that is. It’s a teres major. What is a teres major steak? Other than awesome? It’s from a little used muscle in the shoulder of the cow and is the second most tender cut of beef other than the tenderloin. If you are familiar with the flat iron, which is also extremely tender, you will know that the flat iron is a steak comprised of two muscles combined by some connective tissue. One of those muscles is the teres minor which sits right next to the teres major.
Not only is the teres major extremely tender, it’s also cheap. Like $8-9/pound at most meat markets. Every now and again, your local grocer might carry it under the name petite tender or shoulder tender, but for the most part, they won’t have any idea what you’re talking about, and they are usually prepackaged which is just fine. Your best bet is to go to a full service butcher shop e, although you better get there before my dad does. When he goes, he buys them out. I think he’s at a rate of about once a week in terms of grilling these bad boys. He has good reason to, it may be my favorite steak, it’s that good. I go into the teres major a little more here.
Now let’s get to the recipe for the coffee steak.
Coffee Steak Ingredients:
4 steaks (you don’t have to use teres major for this)
1/2 cup finely ground coffee** (I used a decaf hazelnut blend that I ground myself at my local grocery store. Decaf is not a necessity.)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
Salt to coat the steaks
**I recommend double grinding the coffee until it is powder otherwise it will be gritty.
That’s not a teres major steak. It is a wonderful piece of salmon I made this rub three days in a row. I was just as leery as you are about making a steak with coffee on it. I thought there would be a 50/50 chance it would be any good. The first night I made it, I put it on the tiniest filet you’ve ever seen to see if it was any good. It was outstanding so I decided it was website worthy. The next night, I decided to try it on a salmon filet and take some pics of the ingredients. The third night, I made the steak you will see below for dad to try.
Prior to grilling, combine all the ingredients except the teres major and the salt. I did this ever so appropriately in a coffee cup:
Coat each side of the steak with coarse salt and then cover with the rub and let it come to room temperature:
Here’s a picture of the teres major covered with the rub next to two other teres majors that were getting a coating of jerk that night:
This is my standard method for grilling a steak. While the steaks are coming up to room temp, I set up the grill for two zone grilling with an incredibly hot fire on one side and nothing on the other:
The coffee steak goes over the hot side of the grill for about 90 seconds to sear, is rotated 45 degrees and seared another 90 seconds, flipped and repeated, and then put on the side of the grill with no heat and the lid put on to bake the steak to desired doneness. Times vary depending on the heat of the fire.
I want to warn you that with the brown sugar in the rub, the teres major is going to look like it’s burnt:
That looks like it’s more charcoal than steak, but it’s fine. Trust me. Although, in the future, I think I might go with turbinado sugar instead.
After it bakes on the side with no heat for a few minutes, it was pulled and allowed to rest:
Notice how thick it is? The teres major does something very cool. It puffs up as it cooks. By the time you pull it from the grill, it will be almost twice as thick as it was when you put it on.
Sliced coffee steak:
And here’s an extra money shot of a piece right before dad devoured it:
What did we drink with the coffee steak? You can’t go with something mild. This 2002 Pax Syrah from Dad’s buddy Don H. did the job nicely:
And this rub is excellent on salmon as well. Here are a couple shots I took when I put it on salmon:
The only thing I would’ve done differently with the salmon is that I would’ve put it on a maple plank next time. I think the maple smoke and coffee would make for a dynamite combo. Either way, I’m a big fan of coffee steak or salmon. I’ll be grilling these again very soon.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
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- 4 steaks (you don't have to use teres major for this)
- ½ cup finely ground coffee** (I used a decaf hazelnut blend that I ground myself at my local grocery store. Decaf is not a necessity.)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp white pepper
- Salt to coat the steaks
- Combine all the ingredients except the steak and the salt
- Coat each side of the steak with coarse salt and then cover with the rub and let it come to room temperature
- While the steaks are coming up to room temp, I set up the grill for two zone grilling with an incredibly hot fire on one side and nothing on the other
- The coffee steaks go over the hot side of the grill for about 90 seconds to sear, are rotated 45 degrees and seared another 90 seconds, flipped and repeated.
- Put on the side of the grill with no heat and the lid put on to bake the steak to desired doneness.
- Times vary depending on the heat of the fire
- Bake for approximately 4 minutes for medium rare, 8 minutes for medium, 12 for medium well and 16 for well done.