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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Drick's Cowboy Sugar Rubbed Steaks

I originally wrote a blog about the first steaks we tried this way.  Then, last weekend I finally got to try this recipe again - this time with some steaks that were far better than shoe leather!!  Although my standby, Worcestershire sauce, is still the easiest way to prepare a steak, this is a better way.  Yes, it takes a bit longer but keep in mind that we shouldn't be eating steak all the time and if it's a special occasion meal, take the time.  You'll be rewarded with steaks that are just bursting with flavor.  Here's a photo of the second batch:

Here's what I said the first time around:

I've put off blogging about this because the rub was so wonderful and the steaks were so awful.  I'd hoped to have time to get a couple of small steaks at the grocery and make this again with decent steaks.  But, somehow, the week got away from me.  We survived on leftovers, pizza and carryout and put in more hours at the office than I care to count.  Because we were going on vacation and I wanted the meals to be special, I asked around at the farmer's markets we go to and was told one particular provider had wonderful steaks.  So, I splurged and spent $1 an ounce for two little four ounce strip steaks.  Shoe leather would have been better.  Let's just say I'll never go back to that vendor again!!  I'd been hankering for these steaks since Drick wrote about them a few weeks ago.  (Check out his blog at Drick's Rambling Cafe - he's got some of the best southern cooking around.  The link's also over to the right in my blog's I love to read list)  On the way down to Starlight, IN, I read a Cooks Illustrated that said you need a bit of sugar in a marinade to give a piece of meat a great crust.  AH, something I'd never thought about.  I always thought you just needed an acid to make it tender.  It also said you need some oil because the herbs and spices need that as a delivery system.  So, this recipe takes care of everything Cooks Illustrated says you need to successfully marinate a piece of beef.  My guess is this'd be great on pork and possibly lamb too.  These steaks were really easy to prepare and, like I said before, the rub was wonderful.  I'm very much looking forward to getting an opportunity to make them again - next time with something resembling a real steak!

Drick's Cowboy Sugar Rubbed Steaks

2 steaks of choice
olive oil
4 t brown sugar
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
1 t garlic powder
dash cayenne
1/4 t dry mustard
1/4 t chili powder
liquid smoke
worcestershire sauce
soy sauce

Rub the steaks on both sides with some olive oil.  Then, rub in the brown sugar.  Follow by mixing the cumin, pepper, garlic, cayenne, dry mustard and chili powder and rubbing that mixture in. 

Cover the steaks and allow them to rest in the refrigerator for an hour. 

About an hour before you're going to grill these steaks, remove them from the refrigerator and sprinkle them well with the liquid smoke.  (I confess - I skipped this because I don't own liquid smoke and forgot to buy it!)  Let the steaks rest for another 30 minutes.  They'll work on coming to room temperature during that time period.

Finally sprinkle them with Worcestershire and soy sauce and let them rest for another 30 minutes before grilling them.  We grilled ours over direct heat to get a nice crust.  If only the nice crust had gone with nice steaks.  You can spoon the leftover marinade over the steaks as you grill them. 

When you remove the steaks from the grill, put a pat of butter on them, tent them under some aluminum foil and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes.  This will allow the juices to redistribute. 

Please stop by Drick's blog and tell him thank you and check out some of his other recipes.  We particularly love the oven fried catfish :-)

adapted from Drick's Rambling Cafe


May Ling Wu said...

Yum! Nothing beats a steak. Looks so tasty! Can't wait to try!

Anonymous said...

looks phenomenal!

whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said...

MMmmm those look good! But I can't help but laugh, about the shoe leather part, I've had that happen too!

Marisa said...

Sounds like a great recipe! I hate it when you get all excited for steak just to realize after it's been cooked that they are rubber. I'm glad it worked out for you the second time around. I'm keeping that tip about sugar in the marinade in mind! Thanks!

Fight the Fat Foodie said...

Looks great! I'm a big fan of Drick's too. Made a lightened version of his Oven-Fried Catfish last week and my wife is already asking me to make it again! You can see it at

Kate said...

LOL - Scott - I'd already saved your version to try next time :-) Kate

Sprinkled with Flour said...

Sounds like a wonderful rub!

City Share said...

I have never put sugar in a marinade. Maybe that's why I never get a crust? Thanks for sharing these tips.

Elin said...

Hi Kate...such a wonderful steak recipe. Simple and yet delicious :) and thanks for the tip about the sugar in the marinade :)


A little sugar makes everything better doesn't it? The steak look PERFECT!

BTW-Hope you like the burgers!

The Mom Chef said...

I dunno that you're gonna get me putting sugar on a steak. It's really that good?

penny aka jeroxie said...

Sugar rubs seems to be very popular these days. Must try it out.

Liv Wan said...

Thank you for sharing this awesome steak recipe. It looks really mouth watering and I wish I can have one now for my breakfast. :D

Drick said...

hey, thanks Kate for the kind words and the post on these - so glad you liked the recipe as I do too... glad to know there's a reason for the sugar other that taste....

Amy K. said...

OK, this post is unfair to those of us who's family cannot eat red meat! Those look so delicious and I may have to try it the next time my hubby is out of town!

Kate said...

Hi Amy - I think it's a great idea for you to visit all the radio show markets. Then, we can fix this for you :-) Hope you and the fam have a fun weekend!! Kate