You’ve watched over your steak on the grill in hopes of getting it to your desired doneness. You’ve patiently waited while it rests and redistributes all of its juices. Then finally it’s the moment of truth…time to carve.
I was full of pride (and relief) when I made that first incision into this Sweet & Spicy Grilled Steak. A perfect medium rare! I can’t take all of the credit, I did have a little help from a pretty cool meat thermometer. OXO recently sent me their digital meat thermometer to try out and I ended up really loving the thing. Read on to hear what I liked so much about it and what makes this steak taste so incredible (hint…roasted cumin!).
I assumed all meat thermometers were essentially the same – they take the temperature of the meat – but OXO’s has a few extra features that made it a little more convenient to use than the basic one I already own. For starters, it helped me choose the right temperature to cook my steak, and not just the standard guideline either. When I went to use their preset temperature for medium-rare beef, I had the option to choose either the USDA recommended 145° or the “chef-recommended” 132°. The USDA has our safety in mind but when it comes to flavor, I’ve got to go with the “chef”. It didn’t steer me wrong, the steak came out just as I’d hoped – a great sear on the outside, pink (not red!) and juicy inside.
Another small-but-helpful feature was the 10-degree warning before my desired temperature was reached. The thermometer gave me a heads-up beep so I knew to stick close by the stove, ready to take the meat off imminently. Of course, I could have just looked at the LCD screen to see the temperature progress. But in reality I’m always juggling several dishes and a couple of kids while I’m cooking. A heads-up beep is definitely appreciated.
Besides the steak itself, the other star of this dish is its spice rub. The recipe comes from McCormick and it’s designed to showcase its roasted cumin, one of four new roasted spices in its Gourmet Collection. Roasting spices is supposed to give them greater depth. I did a little non-scientific sniff test to compare the roasted cumin with my regular jar and the roasted version did seem to smell fresher and more robust. I have to say the rub was pretty amazing. There’s quite a bit of roasted cumin in it so that flavor definitely comes through loud and clear. There’s gentle heat from the cayenne and the dark brown sugar adds a wonderful sweetness you don’t normally expect on a steak. A little of the rub also goes into the tomato relish so you get those same great flavors throughout the dish. We all loved it.
Sweet & Spicy Grilled Steak with Tomato Relish
Adapted very slightly from the Roasted Cumin-Crusted Grilled Steaks with Tomato Relish recipe on McCormickGourmet.com
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon roasted ground cumin*
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound boneless beef sirloin or New York strip steaks (about 3/4-inch thick)
1 pint assorted colors cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 2 cups)**
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Mix sugar, cumin, oregano, sea salt, garlic powder and red pepper in small bowl until well blended. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture. Brush steaks lightly with oil. Rub remaining spice mixture on both sides of steaks. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
Meanwhile, mix tomatoes, onion, oil, vinegar and reserved spice mixture in medium bowl. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Grill steaks over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Slice steak and serve with Tomato Relish.
* Alternatively, you can use regular dried cumin.
** I used medium-sized tomatoes and cut them into eighths
For maximum flavor, refrigerate steaks for 2 hours after rubbing with spice mixture. Tomato Relish can also be prepared earlier in the day and refrigerated until ready to serve.
As I mentioned above, OXO sent me their digital meat thermometer to try out. McCormick also sent a sample of their roasted cumin. The opinions I presented are my own and I was not compensated by either company for this post.
See the Recipe Index for all the recipes on Cooking On the Side.