I chose Wilson Winery’s “Carl’s Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley.” It’s such a lovely, well-balanced Zin — actually, quite a seducer with its smoky, white pepper nose and coffee, chocolate, and plums on the palate. Mmmm. I wanted to make a dinner that would complement this Casanova to the utmost, and because of its lovely tannins and inky fruit, I knew a steak would do nicely.
But not just any ol’ steak. I wanted something that would help bring out all of those wonderfully rich flavors in the glass, something that could be just as provocative on the plate.
Steak with a Coffee Spice Rub
1 ribeye steak, cut into two equal pieces
1/2 cup freshly ground coffee (I used a light roast Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
Pinch of salt
Combine coffee and spices. About an hour before cooking, rub the coffee mixture over the steaks, then toss everything in a sealed bag for a nice, even coating. Keep in the fridge until ready to cook.
Preheat a cast iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle the griddle with grape seed oil and carefully lay down the steaks. Cover with a large lid and cook for 3-5 minutes, then turn over with a pair of tongs. Lower the heat, replace the lid, and cook another 3-5 minutes, until medium rare.
Serve with sweet potato fries that have been cooked just long enough to brown at the ends, creating a caramel crisp edge.