A Rub, a Marinade, and an Herb Cure for July 4

Meat Market chef/owner Sean Brasel shares his secrets for great rubs, marinades, and cures for home cooks. Among them is a chili-espresso rub: "I've always found that bold spicing can bring out amazing flavors in even the most unexciting cuts of beef," Brasel says. "I use this rub with buffalo loin." Or check out his description of a cool skirt steak marinade: Aromatic lemongrass combined with ginger and sugar gives the meat a zesty sweetness, while aji and jalapeño bring the heat.

Ready to grill? Give these a go:

Chili-Espresso Rub

2 ancho chilies, toasted
8 star anise, whole
4 cinnamon sticks
½ cup ground espresso
¼ cup chili powder
¼ cup smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup cumin seed, toasted
¼ cup salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
Directions: Toast the ancho chilies in the oven until they begin to get soft; then remove the seeds and stems. In a separate pan, toast the cumin over low heat. Grind the all ingredients, except the salt, in a spice grinder until fine. Place in a bowl and stir in the salt. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Herb Cure
¼ cup kosher salt
1 bunch thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 cloves garlic
Directions: Mix all ingredients together and cover meat. Cure the meat in an airtight container for 24 to 48 hours before braising. 

Skirt Steak Marinade
3 ½ oz. lemongrass
3 ½ oz. jalapeño
3 oz. caramelized ginger
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp kosher salt
½ jar aji de pancha
8 oz. water
2 ½ cups blended oil
Directions: In a blender, purée the lemongrass, jalapeño, ginger, sugar, and salt. Add the aji de pancha and water. Place the mixture in a bowl and whisk in the oil. Place cleaned and trimmed skirt steak in the marinade for at least 24 hours before grilling.

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