Colder weather is creeping across certain parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have one more hurrah with outdoor cooking. And we think this recipe for Grilled Steak with New Mexican Chile Rub is worthy of your throwing on an extra sweater.
Because cheap steaks exude little fat to bond with spices, spice rubs tend to fall off in chunks, and if by some stroke of luck the rub remains intact, it usually tastes dry and dusty. We wanted a recipe for inexpensive grilled steak that was also tender and juicy, with a flavorful, crunchy crust that stayed in place. To get a $6 steak to taste like $12 steak, we penetrated the meat with flavor by using glutamate-rich ingredients—tomato paste and fish sauce—which are water-soluble and therefore able to travel deep into the steak. We then added two more potent, water-soluble seasonings—garlic powder and onion powder—that introduced even more flavor.
1. SCORE MEAT: Shallow slits cut into the steak help the salt paste and spice rub adhere to the meat and penetrate more deeply.
2. APPLY PASTE: A paste of onion and garlic powders, salt, tomato paste, and fish sauce boosts beefy flavor and tenderizes the meat.
3. APPLY SPICE RUB: Toasting then grinding dried chiles and spices leads to a more substantial crust with complex flavor.
4. SPRAY WITH OIL: A light misting of oil blooms the spices on the grill and helps the rub cling to the meat.
MAKE IT NOW: Our recipe for Grilled Steak with New Mexican Chile Rub is free through October 9, 2013.