Some games deserve steak sandwiches as part of your tailgate spread. Try this recipe and pair it with a stout or IPA for best results.
The Packers and Badgers seasons are up and running, so it's time to up your tailgating game. Start with a steak sandwich paired with the right craft beer. And a little razzle-dazzle.
I'm going to use the rub that won our rib recipe contest on steak.
RELATED:The best rib rub recipes
Kathleen Joy, our rib contest winner, deserves the credit for this ribs-to-steaks mix since her submission included directions for steaks, not ribs. She even noted that it works best on ribeye.
If you didn't catch her winning recipe, I must warn you that it packs plenty of punch, calling for both chili powder and cayenne pepper. There's also equal amounts of cocoa and cumin, so there's a lot happening.
I thought for sure the seasoning would muscle aside the steak flavors. I was wrong. It indeed works well on ribeye and if you're looking to add some kick to your tailgating menu this weekend, use this rub on round steak for sandwiches. Top it simply with beer-braised onions and pair it with the right beer to maximize the yummy sounds your guests will make.
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Steak of your choice
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
6 ounces Pilsner beer
Place a small amount of olive oil on all sides of steak. Generously rub seasoning on all sides. Cover, refrigerate 24 hours. Pull out 6 hours before grilling.
Set up the grill for direct high heat.
As the grill heats, add butter and onions in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the onion starts to brown, about 3-5 minutes, pour in half a can of a Pilsner or similar style beer. Cover, reduce heat to low.
Place the steak on the grill, flip after 2 minutes and continue flipping every 2 minutes until it reaches desired doneness.
Transfer to cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Slice thinly and pile high on buns then top with onions.
My method for pairing was simple: Take sips of different beers between bites of steak sandwich.
BEST: Stout and India pale ale. The pepper flavors, unexpectedly, popped more with the stouts. I had expected it to draw out the rub's cocoa flavor. Meanwhile, the IPA performed exactly as expected; it sliced through the seasoning's heat.
RELATED:Pick 6 of IPAs
VERY GOOD: Amber ale and Pilsner. Look for an amber ale that's generously hopped. It doesn't have to be IPA hopped, but just stay away from those on the sweeter end of the range (see amber lager below). I was impressed that the Pilsner's light flavor profile didn't get swallowed up.
NOT SO MUCH: Amber lager and Oktoberfest marzen-style. Both clashed with the seasoning creating "off" flavors. I suspect the caramel sweetness is the culprit in the amber. I really don't know why the Oktoberfest beer didn't work. It just didn't.