Coffee-Rubbed Steak Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

Coffee-Rubbed Steak Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

Let me ask you something, coffee lovers of the universe. When you first tried coffee, did it taste like a piece of leather that had been soaked in vinegar and then left outside at the height of a Texas summer for two weeks? Because that’s the initial image that came to mind when I tried coffee for the first time. I keep coming back to it, thinking I will finally like the taste of coffee because I’m, you know, super mature and all. Right… It still tastes like a pickled and sun-dried piece of leather to me. I suppose it’s an acquired taste, yes?

Coffee-Rubbed Steak

I so wish that coffee tasted as good as it smells. It’s like the exact opposite of stinky cheese. I very much wish that Gruyere smelled the way that it tastes. But I have found the perfect way to get my coffee fix, and surprisingly enough, it does not include coffee cake. It does, however, involve tacos. I make a spicy and smoky chile-coffee rub that I spread over New York strip steaks. I turn that steak into savory tacos that I top with some pickled red onions, crumbled cotija cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Coffee-Rubbed Steak Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

Coffee-Rubbed Steak Tacos with Pickled Red Onions
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Chili powder and coffee-rubbed steak tacos topped with pickled red onions, cotija cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Author:
Yield: Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coffee beans
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (1 pound) New York strip steaks
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 2 limes, quartered
Directions
  1. Place the red onions in a small bowl. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the liquid over the onions and let sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes, until the onions turn bright pink in color.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, coffee, paprika, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper in a small bowl to combine. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Rub the coffee mixture all over the steaks, covering completely. Sear the steaks for about 2 minutes per side, until a golden brown crust forms. Transfer to the oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat registers 125°F on a meat thermometer. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice the steak against the grain into thin slices. Arrange the steak in the corn tortillas. Top each taco with some of the pickled onions, cotija cheese, and a squeeze of lime juice.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Simple and beautiful dish. I don’t remember the first time I tried coffee now that I think of it. I think liked it (with cream and sugar), but I’m not a coffee drinker now – only because I saw how addictive it was when I was a kid and didn’t want to get into all of that. Lol

  2. Jessica says

    Hello. Thank you for this wonderful idea, I can’t wait to try it out! Can you tell me, should I use already brewed coffee grounds?

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