Useful Advice About Savoury “Spice Rub”!!!
What’s that – “Spice Rub”??
I want to tell you about the spice rub. No, it’s not a massage technique, it’s a simple blend of 5 spices that we originally started using on meat but now use in other ways as well. It imparts sort of a Middle Eastern type flavour on whatever you use it in or on. We first had it on prepared flank steak with this spice rub. The meat had been marinated in it overnight and then barbecued medium rare and sliced very thinly. It was full of flavour and the spices had a tenderising effect on the meat so that even flank steak was tender. We were hooked.
We generally use “the rub” on beef, but it’s great on lamb or even pork. It’s definitely more of a red meat thing – it overpowers chicken and fish. The technique is easy – sprinkle a layer of it on the meat, gently rub it in, then put the meat back in the fridge and let the spices do their work. You can leave it to “marinate” for up to 24 hours in the fridge, but we’re generally not nearly that organised. A few hours will do in a pinch. Then either sear the meat in a hot pan (a grill pan works best) or barbecue. Personally I prefer the barbecue but I know that in the depths of winter barbecuing may not be a preferred cooking technique. Cook to no more than medium rare (unless of course it’s pork), slice the meat thinly and serve. It’s nice served over a bed of rocket (arugula) with lemon wedges on the side. You can even rub this stuff all over a roast for some extra flavour. I’m going to use it on slow roasted pork shoulder for a wedding we’re catering next month.
I generally make up a big batch of the spice rub and keep it in a jar. I’ve branched out to using it in tagines as a general all round flavouring, and when making shredded meat for Mexican wraps. In a moment of panic last year when catering my sister’s wedding (so no pressure then!!) I used it as the spice mixture for spiced nuts (with a bit of brown sugar and honey). The nuts disappeared really quickly and we got so many comments about how good they were! Funny how these things turn out.
Here’s the recipe – it’s so simple it’s almost embarrassing. But at the same time it fits so well with my philosophy that good food doesn’t have to be difficult or take a lot of time to prepare.