Hey all! I had this odd feeling yesterday afternoon that I found a use for the package of dried blueberries I picked-up a couple months back...I grabbed 'em not really knowing exactly why (other than for dry rub), but I knew I would figure it out, eventually...one of those really great impulse purchases that kept me thinking off and on for several weeks. The wife and kids were gone at the time this one was concieved (when the cat's away the mouse will play), but wifey was bringing me some bone-in and boneless rib eyes and boneless chuckies home to play with for dinner, and the following is the results.
If this rub looks a bit on the pale/grey/blue side of the color shades, it is...trust me, it looks much better on beef:
BLUEBERRY BEEF RUB - BASIC
2 Tbsp ground dried blueberries
1 Tbsp fresh ground black peppercorn
1 Tbsp fresh ground garlic
2 Tbsp fresh ground onion
1 tsp medium-fine ground thyme
1/2Tbsp medium-fine ground rosemary
1 Tbsp kosher salt
To process the dried blueberries, add 1 Tbls or less at a time to your grinder. It will paste-up very quickly. Add peppercorns to this to help break-down and disperse the berries. Grind some of the other spices and add berries to grind a second and third time for reducing particle size and achieving a good blend. Add the kosher salt when you are sure you are finished grinding to tumble for the final blend.
Apply this rub with a shaker only. It will pack quickly when handling, so it is best as a no-contact dry rub, including once applied to the meat. Just sprinkle it on, rest a couple minutes, turn with tongs and repeat.
When you taste this dry rub after blending, it may seem very spicy, and slightly hot...this will mellow when applied to meat and cooked, so don't become discouraged if you think it didn't come out right.
If you want a spicy-hot version, add your favorite hot dried chili powders, cayenne pepper, extra ground black peppercorn, etc.
Note: when using cayenne, I recommend adding cinnamon at a ratio of about 10:1 cayenne/cinnamon to smooth the bitter after-taste of cayenne.
Note: I do not recommend this rub for high-temp cooking, such as pan-seared or grilled, as the natural sugars in the blueberries will likely scorch very quickly.
A few bone-in rib eyes to get things started:
6 bone-in rib eyes covered with a couple of bone-less chuckies...Amazing Taste Steakhouse Seasoning on 5 bone-less rib eyes on the right, just in case someone wasn't adventurous enough to be my guinea-pig for the new rub:
Into the Smoke Vault 24 @ 225* after a nearly cold start-up with a dry smoke chamber, and smoke provided by hickory and cherry chips. I picked the temps up to 250* the last 30 minutes:
I gave 'em a heavier dose of smoke for about 15 minutes, then let it thin-out for another hour before removing the smoke wood, so, 1.25 hours smoke, with a total of 2 hours cooking time...came out rare to med-rare:
Chuckies on the left, rib eyes on the right (upper grate):
Rib eyes (middle grate):
Boneless rib eyes (lower grate), with Amazing Taste seasoning:
String-beans and Idaho tater on the side, topped with sauteed button mushrooms:
A little bit of the rain-bow effect in the cross-cut, but not much...I think the smoke reaction offset the color a bit, though.
Smoke was a bit on the light side for me (due to deliberately using a dry smoke chamber and killing the smoke early), but I didn't want to get carried away with our guests in the house. The rub was really not what I expected at all. I went fairly sparingly, because the taste straight out of the blending container had quite a peppery bite, with a nice background from the blueberry. Man, did it ever fool me! I could have went with a lot more rub, but it was still very good with a lighter application. Not very spicy at all, and I expected a strong peppery hit up front, which was pretty mellow, and a slight hit of garlic. The onion seemed to smooth it over and pull it all together. The blueberry came in somewhere in the middle and carried through towards the end of the chew lending a light touch to the rib eye. This stuff is almost addictive. If you've ever had a burgundy beef rub, this takes it a few steps further, I think. Not so much of a sweetness as it is just that hint of something fruity and different.
Oh, and the wife? She gave me that (you put what in the dry rub??? look...so, when asked which she wanted, when finding out that the only bone-in rib eyes had blueberry rub (she likes bone-in), she was apprehensive, but accepted one...and LIKED it!! Everyone who tried it raved about it...I really like it, too. Enough to be looking for more dried blueberries the next chance I get. Anyway, that was just a quick, down and dirty basic rub for beef...I'll go into this a bit more in the future and add a few more savories to the blend, just for giggles, but in reality, you don't need a lot of added flavors to make a good beef-steak, now, do you? I think what I have here is just about as far as I want to take it...simple and gentle enhancement of the already great flavors of the rib eye and chuck. I'll definitely be using rub this again...I just can't help it...call me crazy if you want, but if you're looking for something different (like I usually am), this will do it for you.
Thanks for peekin'!!!
Great smokes to ALL!!!
Edited by forluvofsmoke - 5/14/13 at 1:50pm