Cowboy Rubbed Rib Eye Steak with Chocolate Stout Pan Sauce Recipe on Food52 (2024)

Cast Iron

by: Aliwaks



2 Ratings

  • Serves 2

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Author Notes

I started making this rub after reading about cowboy food, they carried with them coffee, salt, pepper and sugar...and they grilled their steaks in cast iron pans...since I do not often find myself on the open range I have to make due with either my grill or during wet yucky weather, my oven. I've added a couple of spices and few non cowboy type extras.. though I'm pretty sure if the cowboys had chocolate stout they would've enjoyed it too. ... on the rare occasions when I have been forced to camp outdoors I've brought pre rubbed steaks with me to get a taste of the old west... If you have no chocolate stout available any dark beer will do, you can also sub red wine, but it will be very different. I like to use a pre heated cast iron pan because in conducts the heat well...and you don't have to turn the meat over —Aliwaks

Test Kitchen Notes

Ground coffee, smoked paprika, cumin, ancho chile and brown sugar form an earthy, flinty rub that smells appealingly of wood smoke. Aliwaks borrows a smart technique from Indian cooking and has you toast the spices over low heat before rubbing them on the steak. Then it's just a matter of searing it in a very hot iron pan and finishing the sauce with some chocolate brown stout, beef stock and a lump of butter. We recommend some corn pudding on the side. - A&M —The Editors

  • Test Kitchen-Approved
  • Your Best Broiled Steak Contest Winner

What You'll Need

  • 1 nice, thick rib eye, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, big enough for two
  • 1 tablespoonground coffee
  • 2 tablespoonskosher salt (we used Diamond Crystal -- you may want to reduce the salt to taste, especially if using Morton's Kosher or other finer salt, see comments)
  • 2 teaspoonsdark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoonsmoked paprika
  • 1 tablespooncoarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoonground cumin
  • 1 teaspoonhot red pepper flakes (preferably Ancho chile)
  • 1 cupchocolate stout (you'll have to drink the rest)
  • 1/2 cupbeef stock
  • 1 tablespoonunsalted butter
  • 1 sprigthyme
  • 1 tablespoonvegetable oil (if you are the type to save bacon fat, by all means use it!)
  1. Mix the coffee, salt, paprika, peppers, and cumin together and toast lightly in pan until fragrant (alternatively you can toast whole spices then grind). Mix the spices with the sugar to make the rub.
  2. Spread the rub all over the steak and let sit for awhile, if you do it the night before you'll have stronger flavor but if you do it right before serving it'll be good, too. (If you pre-rub and set it in the fridge, be sure to bring it up to room temperature before searing, so you do not shock the meat.)
  3. Heat a cast iron pan until it's really really hot -- a drop of water flicked into the pan should sizzle and bounce. Add vegetable oil, wait a few seconds until the oil heats up, then place the steak in the pan. It should sizzle; leave it there, do not touch it at all for 3-4 minutes. It should be browning on the bottom. Then place it under a hot broiler and broil to medium rare or desired doneness.
  4. Remove the steak and let rest on a warm plate, cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Add the thyme sprig to the pan and let it saute a bit till it gets nice and fragrant. Pour in the chocolate stout and deglaze the pan. Add the beef broth, whisk together and reduce by half over medium heat.
  6. Remove the thyme sprig and whisk in the butter. Season to taste.
  7. Slice the steak on the bias and drizzle the sauce over top. This is yummy with creamed spinach and hash browns or a baked potato and a nice big salad.


  • American
  • Cumin
  • Chocolate
  • Rib
  • Coffee
  • Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Beef
  • Cast Iron
  • Winter
  • Entree
Contest Entries
  • Your Best Broiled Steak
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44 Reviews

Evelyn September 7, 2017

Delicious! I think the rub quantity could stretch to two steaks, but the flavors are a definite winner. I used half the amount of salt and cooked the steak entirely in the pan, turning every 30 seconds after the first 3 minute sear until it was ready to rest. Almost melt-in-your-mouth beef!

Skiingstella July 28, 2015

Although delicious...the amount of pepper made us have crazy sore, dry throats after dinner. Ick.

judith December 13, 2014

Outstanding!!! I was not expecting this to be so easy to make. The flavors are out of control. The rub is a new pantry staple.

Pork N. November 3, 2014

I became so in love with this rub, it seems like we ate it on all our steaks this summer. Tonight we had it again, but on pot roast served with potato Rosti. Divine. Try this rub, it is really great!

Christopher C. February 14, 2013

Great Recipe

jifferb January 28, 2013

This rub is divine! I will use it again and again (i used in ribs the next day). I know you said put it in the pan and leave it there, but I am not so experienced with steak and a friend who was with me in the kitchen insisted that I MUST turn it over and never leave it sit too long - so says Heston Blumethal, he said. So we flipped it repeatedly, only maybe 30 seconds on each side for 4 minutes total and then in the oven for 3 minutes or so - and it was puuuuuuurfect. So I am sticking with the repeated flip technique because it turned out so well. Fabulous recipe - i will use it again and again!

t3ch September 4, 2012

Tried this last night and it was amazing. By far one of the best recipes I've ever had the pleasure of coming across... So. Freakin. Good.

Thanks for sharing!

Drea6681 August 14, 2012

Question about the broiling technique; do you flip the steak before putting it under the broiler or no? Also, how long should the broil be for rare-medium rare?

Thanks, can't wait to try this.

maryvelasquez October 30, 2011

We had this tonight for dinner and it was scrumptious. The technique, the flavors, both so great. Wish I'd tried it sooner

Kalie E. August 10, 2011

The only cast iron pan I have is more of a griddle, which I can't make a pan sauce in. Do you think I'd get similar results using an All Clad stainless steel pan?

Kalie E. August 10, 2011

The only cast iron pan I have is more of a griddle, which I can't make a pan sauce in. Do you think I'd get similar results using an All Clad stainless steel pan?

usakat02 May 15, 2011

If I want to bake in the oven does anyone have any suggestions? I'm a new cook :)

Aliwaks May 16, 2011

You could do it in the oven, it might not get the ideal crust in you dont sear first, preheat the oven so it's really hot (500). You can also rub the steak and then grill it and use some beef stock with a pinch of rub to make the sauce on the stove. Start with cup and boil it until it's reduced by half.

Aliwaks February 16, 2011

I've been thinking about this salt issue and I wonder if since I am a careless, messy sort of person and tend to get the rub all over the place, maybe I am actually getting less salt on my steak than less careless people may be doing. But Merrill & Amanda seem to be careful and precise, so now I'm wondering if maybe it has to do with the thickness of the steak?

Maybe thicker steaks will absorb less salt?

Limonlemon... if your spices are smoking then they are burning... you want to just gently heat the essential oils so they rise up,

Use a really heavy pan on low heat, then lean in and sort of waft the air towards your nose if you smell toasty spices ..then take them off the flame,

heidiv February 16, 2011

Aliwaks, i am a baker by trade and when i try a new recipe i try to follow pretty closely but i did have two steaks and they were a little thinner i put the rub on probably 4 hrs before hand too. i could not find thicker steaks but they were pretty close to an inch thick.
now that i have done this rub once i will adjust it to my tastes. I hope this helps. Thank you!

heidiv February 16, 2011

we liked the steak but the salt was very over whelming for us so we will reduce the amount the next time. And maybe remove some of the rub before cooking it will burn and make it taste a little bitter.

Fran M. February 15, 2011

I wasn't sure how this would be, because my husband hates coffee. Well It's fantastic.I added a little extra cumin and a little less coffee. He never knew it was in there. I am in love with this site.

Katcook February 14, 2011

How long do you broil the steak?

Aliwaks February 15, 2011

Kat so sorry didn't see this till this morning..hope it turned out well,Q

urbanista! February 14, 2011

This and the mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and goat cheese was valentine dinner with my husband. Added red and yellow beets and garlic spinach....yummm! This one is a keeper!

Aliwaks February 15, 2011

Sounds aaamaazing! ( & pretty!!!!)

Fran M. February 10, 2011

Thanks for answering. I am new to this fabulous site & I didn't know if anybody would reply. It helps me a lot.

Aliwaks February 15, 2011

Welcome to Food 52 Fran! How did it come out??

Fran M. February 10, 2011

I have a question. I love coffee, my husband does not. He hates it. I would love to try this. Does it taste like coffee at all?

Aliwaks February 10, 2011

UMMM kind's not like you go WOW coffee... if he really really hates coffee leave it out, or use like a teaspoon... you can substitute un-unsweetened cocoa powder.. I've made it that way before.. its different but it works.

Cowboy Rubbed Rib Eye Steak with Chocolate Stout Pan Sauce Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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