Posted by: M & T | July 10, 2010

Coffee & cocoa steaks with vidalia onions and baby portabella mushrooms

This winter, we went to the Capital Grille in Philadelphia with friends.  Three out of four of us ordered the Kona crusted sirloin; it was fantastic!  Tim doesn’t like coffee at all, and he loved it.  The waiter had also mentioned that cocoa powder is also used in the rub.  This is supposed to keep the meat tender.

The first time we tried this, we used pre-ground, generic coffee….and waaayyyy too much of it.  The steaks were not bad, but we had a few aspects of the recipe to tweak. The second time (last week), I ground the coffee myself.  The more finely ground the better.  We also incorporated the cocoa this time.

Season the steaks with salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides.  We used strip steaks; however, we are going to try with filet mignon next time.  For the rub, mix two parts coffee to one part cocoa.  Two teaspoons coffee and one teaspoon cocoa is enough for four strip steaks.  Rub steaks with coffee/cocoa mixture.

Preheat your grill (or oven) to 400 degrees.  In a cast iron skillet (or any skillet safe for the grill or oven), heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Once really hot, place steaks in pan, flip immediately and place on heated grill or in oven (pan and all).  The idea is to get a really good sear on the steaks . Close grill or oven and cook for 3-5 minutes for thinner steaks and 7-9 minutes for a thicker cut.  The meat will be medium-rare to medium. Let steaks REST for about 5-10 minutes prior to serving.  If you cut them right away, all the juices will run out.  There goes all the flavor!  Boo.

For the onion/portabella topping (for two):  

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small vidalia onion, sliced
  • 3 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat.  Add garlic and sauté for a minute or two. Add the onion and mushrooms.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Add a splash of worchstershire sauce.  Cook until nice and tender; it may take about 15 minutes.  Don’t get antsy and crank the heat up; they will burn.

We enjoyed this with small side salads because we weren’t super hungry.  Grilled veggies (asparagus, perhaps) and/or potatoes any way would make great accompaniments!

This would be great for a romantic dinner for two; a step about the basic grilled steak!  We will definitely be making this again. I enjoyed this with a delicious Mary’s Margarita that Tim makes for me.  It’s low in calories! Check for the recipe soon!



  1. Wow!!..that coffee and cocoa rub sounds good. Imma have to try that recipe

    • It is fantastic….and easy!

  2. You guys are so corny. I love it. I think the site is a great idea and I can’t wait to try the rub.

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