Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Coffee-Rubbed Roast Beef Sandwiches with Wasabi Cream Spread

Take roast beef sandwiches to a new level with a simple, rich, and aromatic rub—and an overnight rest in the fridge. Ground coffee beans impart depth and richness to a dry rub. Add chile, mustard, and onion powders to the coffee for an especially flavorful crust on a lean eye-of-round beef roast.

Three key tips for this dish:

1) Don’t overcook. A meat thermometer is a very useful tool for cooking the roast. If you don’t have one, you can trust the cooking time as long as you have a two-pound eye-of-round roast, about four inches in diameter (and provided you know the quirks of your oven inside and out).

Eye-of-Round Roast
Either way, don’t be alarmed by the juices flowing from the cooked roast while it’s resting. When you remove it from the oven at 125°, the juices will appear very bloody at first. Within 15-20 minutes, the juices will darken as the internal temperature continues to rise.

The bottom line here is that you want the roast to be very pink in the middle. A medium-rare finish assures maximum flavor and tenderness.

2) Chill. We’re making sandwiches here, so cold roast beef is okay. An overnight stay in the fridge allows the rub to penetrate the meat even more for deeper flavor.

3) Slice very thinly. Think shavings. But unless you have a deli meat slicer, you won’t be able to go that thin—just get as close to it as possible with a very sharp knife. The slices should fold easily and be very tender. 

Slice the Roast Very Thinly
I made a simple spread of sour cream and wasabi paste to top the beef. A good grainy mustard would work well too.

And for another coffee-rub dish, check out Skillet-Seared, Coffee-Rubbed Lamb Chops with Honey-Butter.

Serves 6

  • 1 tbsp finely ground coffee granules
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more
  • 2-lb eye-of-round beef roast
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp wasabi paste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slices thin, light rye bread
  • tomato and red onion slices, and lettuce leaves (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a small baking pan with foil.
  2. Combine the coffee, chile, mustard, and onion powders and salt in a small bowl. Massage the coffee mixture evenly all over the roast.
  3. Place the beef in the pan and roast 20 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 300° F. Continue roasting the beef until a thermometer registers 125° F, about 30 minutes. 
  5. Transfer the roast to a plate or work surface and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  6. Wrap the roast in parchment paper, then tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Rub Mixture
Rubbed Roast 
Roast after Turning
Roasted Eye-of-Round 
Chilled Roast
  1. About 30 minutes before serving, combine the sour cream and wasabi paste in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Sour Cream and Wasabi
Wasabi Cream
Slice the roast as thinly as possible and stack on slices of rye bread. Spread with wasabi cream and top with tomato, onion, and lettuce, if desired.

Sliced Beef
Beef and Wasabi Spread
Coffee-Rubbed Roast Beef Sandwiches with Wasabi Cream Spread

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