Reverse searing is a way of cooking steak that’s come into favour with many chefs over the past few years. Rather than fiercely cooking the exterior of the steak then slowly continuing so the inside reaches the desired doneness, reverse searing relies on a slow initial cook using indirect heat followed by a fierce sear at the end. In this recipe, the coffee-spiked rub adds a beautiful bitter-sweet smokiness. We’ve cooked two steaks to feed 4-6 people, but you could use a single very thick steak instead, as thicker cuts are ideal for the reverse-sear method.
1 tbsp ground coffee
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp sea salt
2 Westholme T-bone steaks (about 1kg / 50 oz each), at room temperature
olive oil, for drizzling
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
1 Spanish (red) onion, thinly sliced into rings
½ cup buttermilk
1 lemon, juice and finely grated rind
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ small white cabbage, shaved on a mandolin
¼ iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
2 shallots / spring onions, thinly sliced
½ cup mint leaves, torn
To make the coffee rub, combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to combine. Rub thickly over steaks to form a crust, then drizzle with a little olive oil.
Preheat a hooded barbecue: turn half the burners to medium-high heat and leave remaining burners unlit, or if using coals, create a two-zone fire by banking hot coals under one side of the barbecue. The ideal temperature is 100C-135C / 212F-275F. Place steak on the unlit side of the barbecue, cover with the hood and cook for 50-55 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 51C / 125F for medium-rare – the meat will continue to cook as it rests. Check the internal temperature frequently, as the time it will take can vary considerably depending on the temperature of your barbecue.
Once the steak reaches temperature, transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil while you increase the temperature of the barbecue, either by turning all the burners to high or by adding extra coals. Drizzle steak with a little extra oil, place on the barbecue and grill for 1 minute to brown well, turn and brown the remaining side.
While the steak cooks, prepare the quick-pickled onion. Combine vinegar, sugar and onion in a bowl, season to taste and toss to combine Set aside to pickle.
To make the slaw, whisk buttermilk, lemon rind and juice, vinegar, oil and garlic in a large bowl to combine. Add cabbage, lettuce, carrot, spring onion and mint. Toss to combine. Serve with the steaks and quick-pickled onion.
Barbecue temperature can fluctuate a lot during the low cook stage so it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature of the meat
For a more controlled temperature, you could start the reverse sear in a low oven and finish on a scorching hot grill to add the smoky finish
A guide for doneness: consider taking the meat off the barbecue (or out of the oven) a little before you reach your desired doneness as the steaks will continue to cook with residual heat. RARE 51C / 125F MEDIUM-RARE 54C / 130F MEDIUM 60C / 140F MEDIUM-WELL 65C / 150F