Gluten-free Steak Rub Recipe

A good steak really only needs salt and pepper and a hot grill or cast iron skillet. A good steak however can be really expensive. I love to use more flavorful marinades or rubs when cooking some of the more cost effective cuts like top round or london broil. This is a wet steak rub and is reminiscent of the flavors that go into South African farmer’s sausage. It gives just a hint of flavor that most people here in the US have not had before, but reminds me of my childhood πŸ™‚

Steak Rub (enough for about 3 pounds of steak)


ΒΌ cup of olive oil

4 teaspoons of ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 Β½ teaspoons of onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 Β½ teaspoons of salt

ΒΌ teaspoon of ground black pepper

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoon red wine vinegar


Mix all ingredients together in a gallon storage bag. Place the steaks in and make sure to cover them with the rub. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Cook to your liking. I like to cook it about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for a rare to medium rare finish for about a 3cm thick steak. Allow to rest for 7 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Serve with some easy polenta or grilled cheesy potatoes, like this one from The Recipe Rebel. I made a version of it last night, minus the bacon and it was so easy and delicious!!

Add some asparagus or grilled corn (shuck, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then grill, turning frequently) and you have a great barbecue dinner.

Make sure you check if the spices are gluten-free. According to McCormick, they will list it on the bottle if it contains gluten, usually in spice blends. Badia is certified gluten free and can be found usually in the international section of many grocery stores, but sometimes next to the other spices.

What is your favorite way to cook a steak?

Bucket list completed and new goals for 2014!

Fourth day into the new year and we are sitting in the house with piles of snow outside warming up after the final round of shoveling. Feels like deja vu from all the storms we had last February. While my kids play bowling on the Wii and my husband is working from home, I am taking a few minutes to give you an update on my cooking bucket list of 2013…oh wait, Neil wants milk and Karina already wants a snack…So back to the bucket list…What’s that Paul? You want some juice?…and this is why I haven’t written a blog in a few months. If I get a chance before complete meltdowns from cabin fever occur, I also want to write my goals for my 2014 cooking bucket list and some new projects.

2013 Cooking Bucket list – COMPLETE!* (and I did 5 of them in December again)

1.  Boerevors sausage (South African farmer’s sausage)
I made 5  batches of this sausage tweaking the recipe each time. Over the holidays my dad and I made the best batch so far! That recipe will be a family secret for now πŸ™‚ 

2.  Souffle
I made a chocolate souffle using Martha Stewart’s recipe as a guide. Didn’t rise as much as I wanted it to, but it was gone in 10 minutes! 

3.  Melk tert (a South African milk tart)
I used my mother’s recipe and it was delicious. Instead of making a crust, I used the mini phyllo shells, which got a little soggy in the fridge overnight. Next time I would either serve them immediately or use the crust in the recipe if making ahead.

4.  Pasta 
I ended up make canneloni and filling it with ricotta and spinach and serving with tomato sauce. Delicious! Not as thin as they would be had a I used a pasta machine, but thin enough. Karina and I rolled and rolled and rolled until thin. I made a version of a dish I had last year when I went to Mario Batali’s Eatly in NYC. 

5.  Carbonara
This was delicious! The whole family loved it. I mean, bacon, eggs, cheese, peas and pasta. You really can’t go wrong. Traditional is with spaghetti or linguine noodles but the kids chose the orecchiette.

6.  Filet a whole fish
I cleaned and filleted a red snapper. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it and turned it into the most delicious ceviche!

7.  Ceviche
This was my favorite. “Cooked” the snapper in lime juice for 4 hours and tossed it with avocado, tomatoes, a little red onion, olive oil and cilantro and ate it with tortilla chips. LOVED IT! Karina even loved it. Now that I’ve done it once though, I will definitely ask the fish monger to clean and filet it for me. Make sure you tell the fishmonger that you are making ceviche and want a fish that was brought in that morning. Call ahead. It is worth it!

8.  Paella
This was also a family favorite. I made some spanish chorizo from scratch, brined the chicken using smoked paprika and cumin. Everything  came out great, except the mussels. I didn’t time those right and some didn’t open enough. I will definitely make this again!

9.  Octopus* – Did not do this the Octopus that were available were on the “Avoid” list of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch.

10. Jam
So I may have copped out a little on this one, but I never said I would do canning πŸ™‚ I just simmered a bunch of berries over the summer that were on the verge of going bad. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries cooked with a little bit of water, balsamic vinegar and sugar. It was delicious on ice cream and on toast for breakfast.

11. Yorkshire pudding
This was delicious! I will definitely be making this again. It is super easy. So much easier than I thought it would be. I looked at a couple of recipes and used this one from I didn’t make a roast that night, so I replaced the beef drippings with beef stock and served it with some leftover sausage and squash.

12. Cream puffs
I used one of my South African cookbooks for this and it was fairly successful. The best discovery was the “mock” pastry cream recipe from the de Villiers, Cook it and Enjoy It. You just whip together a little butter with sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Amazing!

For 2014 I have created a bucket list for the year and I’m starting on an ambitious project of cooking a recipe from one of my cookbooks each week, that I have not made before. I have 50 cookbooks, so that gives me 2 weeks off πŸ™‚ Hopefully I will have time to blog about it. If not visit my Facebook page to get updates! 

Cooking bucket list for 2014:

1. Rusks (think South African biscotti)
2. Macaroons
3. Scones
4. Brussel Sprouts (I’ve never cooked them. My husband loves them, so I’m taking one for the team so my kids won’t inherit my food prejudices πŸ™‚ )
5. Pretzels
6. Poached Salmon
7. Beef Wellington
8. Coq au Vin

9. Khachapuri (a Georgian cheesy bread)

10. Duck (not necessarily a whole duck, we’ll see how adventurous I feel)
11. Tortillas
12. Chilaquiles (My favorite Mexican breakfast!!) 

Happy New Year everyone! 

100th post! Sausage done!

I have spent some time thinking about how monumental this 100th post is and thanks to all of you it follows the most successful post I’ve had so far! If you have been reading this blog from the beginning or just started now, you can see that I love to entertain and cook comfort food, food from my childhood and newly discovered recipes (thank you Pinterest and other bloggers!). This is why I started the bucket list last year and have a new one this year.

I love to learn new techniques and recreate (or attempt to recreate) food from my past. My family is from South Africa, so I occasionally try traditional South African foods. My husband’s family is Swedish and we lived in the Scandinavian area of Seattle (Ya sure Ya Betcha Ballard!) for 8 years, so I try Scandinavian dishes from time to time. We live in Boston, so I try to add traditional New England dishes in. My family LOVES Asian food, so I also work that into our weekly repertoire. My husband lived in Mexico for a time, I have visited and certain Mexican inspired dishes are easy go to meals, so I cook them too. We are an international family, living in a world that is increasingly influenced by global trends and luckily foods! I don’t shop at specialty stores, because I don’t have the time. I shop at our local Hannafords (mostly) and Trader Joe’s, until the convenient farmer’s markets show up again πŸ™‚ And yes, I do occasionally shop at Target when I’m there for other things because its convenient (for those in the Seattle area, I miss Fred Meyer!).

Here is where, if you don’t like meat, look away πŸ™‚ I’ll write you a great post next week! There is a good polenta recipe below that is worth it though!

One of the first items on my bucket list for the year is making my own sausage. I can proudly say I did it!!  I based mine on the recipe my Dad used to make boerwors, a South African farmer’s sausage. I used to enjoy making it with him. I did not enjoy the hand crank grinder and sausage maker, so my Kitchen Aid attachments made the work seem much lighter.


I went to Roxie’s in Quincy, MA (where my dad and I used to go) and got the natural casings and the meat. That place is no joke! I got there a couple minutes before it opened one Sunday morning and the line was already out the door! The meat prices are great and it is good quality, but wow! I would have thought a rock star was inside.

natural casings (hog casings work best)
ground beef (I ground my own chuck)
ground pork (I ground my own tenderloin)
lard (I couldn’t find lard, so used beef fat)
ground coriander
ground cloves
red wine vinegar

I cut the meat up into 1 inch pieces and added all the spices and vinegar and then put it through the grinder.
I cooked a small patty of the sausage to check the flavor and it was good. Then I  put the sausage maker attachment on the KitchenAid and put the casings on and started putting the meat through. It was much easier than I thought! Karina even helped.


I let it rest for 24 hours and we had a feast the next night! Next time I would use lard or pork fat which is softer and more of all the spices.

If you want more details on the amounts and process, feel free to email me,

The traditional boerwors sausage is grilled and served with “pap en sous” (corn porridge and a tomato and onion sauce).  I made the rest of the meal easy and made polenta in the slow cooker (this is a good recipe, just add more salt and cheese as its a little bland) and served it some sauteed peppers, zucchini and onions, since I was out of tomatoes (canned or fresh).

Last night I baked the boerwors with sweet potato, potato and onion with a little red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and coriander. It was a hit.

Next month I am going to tackle souffle’s I think. Might be fun for Valentine’s Day.

Thank you to those who read my blog and give me inspirations! Woo hoo 100th post!