Mocha Fillet Mignon with Saffron Rice

We purchased a case of Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Wine Garage some time ago and I was itching to open one and reap the rewards of my patience.  Knowing that Cabs, especially young ones, can have a high astringency from their tannins I began to think of ways I could doctor a steak to make it pair even better with these purple gromets.

Cabs often have notes of black pepper, smoke, dark chocolate, and coffee (along with their fruit) so I decided on a mocha dry rub and to fire the steaks on the grill as opposed to a pan-sear and finishing them in the oven.  I knew that the key was not to make the mocha obvious; the success would be in its subtlety.

If you couldn’t tell already, this blog is not our only job, and one of the guilty time-savers we have been implementing in our diets has been instant rice.  I know, I know, their texture is way off but when you make instant brown rice instead of white it keeps the yin and the yang of the universe at balance, right?

Maybe not completely in balance, but if you add enough butter and saffron to instant brown rice the result is pretty darn good.  That’s our little “pearl” for the week.  Tell a friend.

Mocha Fillet Mignon with Saffron Rice (printable recipe)

The dry rub for each steak:
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Rub down each steak very well, working it into all the nooks and crannies (if steaks have nooks and crannies, find them, and rub the mocha into them).  Allow them to sit for at least 15 minutes to come to room temperature, but no longer than 30.

Cook the instant brown rice according to the directions on the box (they usually come in a box, with directions on them); however, add 50% more butter then called for, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of saffron.  Unfortunately, you’ll still know it was instant but it will at least taste good.

Grill the steaks until they are to your desired done-ness.  Pair with a Cabernet Sauvignon or another bold red with a backbone of tannins like a Merlot or a Syrah.  

Serve the steaks with the saffron rice and a side salad.  Since the wine and the dry rub have a lot of bitter in them, add a little honey or even a pinch of sugar to your salad dressing.  The sweet will be a counter-point to the bold flavors of the steaks and help balance your palate.
As a final touch, we added some of Olivia's Garlic and Herb Croutons to the salad.  They are buttery and delicious and have a great crunch to them.  They sent us some as a promotional gift and we are thankful for them, they are wonderful.



Authordavid koch