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This is a sweet little rub…well not really sweet at all.  But, rather on the savory side…and delicious.  It’s very flexible, too.  Excellent on pork and beef, but equally delicious on salmon or chicken, as well as sweet potatoes.  You’re hungry now, aren’t you?  This is a decidedly savory rub.  If you want more sweetness, simply increase the sugar or brush the item you’re roasting/grilling/frying, etc. with maple syrup, honey, melted fruit preserves, or BBQ sauce.  See…flexible.  I must admit, I am a sucker for this type of rub.  It has all the flavors I adore, and then some.  And best of all, it’s good on so, so, so many things.  Today, I’m using it on a small pork shoulder, that I’m slow-roasting at 275°F for many hours.  It was partially frozen, because The Goddess got a tad side-tracked last night…Rosé does that to her!  So, out of the freezer it came this morning.  I left it in the sink for a couple of hours, which I believe you’re not supposed to do, but hey, The Goddess lives on the edge.  So far, she hasn’t poisoned anyone!  It was only about half thawed.  But, I rubbed some frozen concentrated orange juice into each side, sprinkled it generously with salt and liberally applied rub to both sides, popped it into a cast iron skillet and into the oven. About four hours later, we’ll be enjoying it (indeed we did).  I made Baked Bean Floating Islands to go with it, and a bit of slaw.

But, back to this rub…I just put some on steak, which is for dinner tomorrow night.  A liberal sprinkle of salt, then dry rub, wrap it with plastic and leave it in the fridge overnight.  It’s great on salmon, too.  But, that’s for another time.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I usually do not add salt to my rubs (that’s onion granules there in the middle).  That way I can use the rub with abandon, without worrying about the end result being too salty.  Oh, believe me, I use salt.  It’s essential to good food.  And it’s a very good idea to salt meat, and let it set for awhile, like overnight in the fridge.  I just want to make certain I mention this every now and then, but I use kosher salt.  And in particular, I use Diamond® brand.  Believe it or not, it isn’t as “salty” as, for example Morton’s® Kosher Salt.  I like the size of the crystals, too.  They’re large and you can feel them, so it easier to use.  This is really just a reminder, that not all salt has the same level of “saltiness”.  Taste.  Always taste.

You will note that I use a plastic bag when I mixing a blend of herbs and/or spices.  You can manipulate it much better than in a dish, with a spoon.  I’ve mixed ten pound of spice this way!  But make certain you close the top well!

Mocha-Java Dry Rub

  • Servings: Makes about 1/2 cup
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 2 tablespoons finely ground espresso coffee beans (I use espresso grind)
  • 2 tablespoons dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion granules
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground (toasted) cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a resealable plastic bag.  Seal the bag and gently shake and move the bag around until the mixture is thoroughly combined.  Store in a cool, dark place, in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  For best flavor, use with 2 months.

Mocha-Java Dry Rub Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020.  All rights reserved.

There’s that steak…but it turns out this is also delicious on grilled pineapple, as well as the ripe plantain.  Who knew?