Homemade Herbal Meat Rub!
Christmas Giving On My Mind!
The herbal meat rub is the seventh item that is ready for the Christmas gift baskets. (Check out this hub for more details about the Bakers dozen gift baskets. I've also added the links at the bottom of the hub)
The basic mixture of herbs and spices that are combined in this dry meat rub add just the right flavorings to all different types of meats, to stuffings, gravies and many other cooking creations.
A dry meat rubs starts out with a bunch of basic ingredients, however a perfect rub is not just a hilter-kilter combination of herb and spices. The perfect rub is a balanced mixture that adds flavor but does not overpower whatever it is used on or in. This rub was perfected by my Dad. He used to love everything hot and spicy, just like I do, but the rest of my gang does not care for it as zinggy so I toned it down for them and I just add 'poof' to mine when needed.
If stored in a dark, cool and airtight environment the rub will last
nine months to a year easy. Now that does not mean that you have to throw it out at
the end of that time. It just means that some of the spices and mainly
herbs start to loose their potency and you will need to use more to get
the same results as before. But don't despair, I bet you will use it
all up way before the expiration date comes even close.
I'm a flea-market hunter, whenever I see special glass jars or bottles especially with tight fitting lids I buy them. If they do not have solid, tight sealing lids I replace them with the right sized cork stoppers. (Good kitchen supply stores or restaurant equipment suppliers carry large assortment of sizes.)
A Balanced Dry Meat Rub!
Balanced basic flavors usually incorporate sweet, salty, hot (spicy), bitter (pungent) and sour (tangy or tart) [I'm not too fond of adding sour to my meat, adding sour to this dry meat rub will turn it into a paste rub, recipe at the bottom] . The depth of the flavors will be determined by which and how much of each you decide to use.
For example sugar can have additive flavors in addition to just the sweet of the basic granulated white sugar. Yellow, dark brown, turbinado or demerara all have different amounts of molasses present, therefore all will add a different taste which can enhance the flavors of the rubs.
Sea, table or kosher salt really doesn't have much changes in taste except if you were to use flavored salts. However I recommend using ordinary plain salt and then you have better control over the add on flavors.
The hot and spicy again is a matter of taste and can come from many sources. Hot chili peppers, garlic powder, ground black or white pepper corns, ground mustard seed (especially the brown mustard seeds as they are hotter), horseradish powder etc. are just to mention a few of them.
******Care should be taken when mixing the hot and spicy into the rub as they can cause burning in eyes, nose, lungs and skin.******
The pungent or bitter can be added by using Celery seed, Dill seed, Fenugreek seeds, Dried capers or Turmeric...
Combining Herbs and Spices!
To finish off your rub try adding some herbs. Herbs are the 'flavor pellets' that make a great addition. The rub recipe that follows is a basic spices and herbs mixture to which you can add your favorite taste. Also for specific types of meats you need to add extra herbs; like sage for your chicken and turkey meat and stuffing or mint to your lamb etc.
Experiment by adding a bit of your choices to a little of the rub and you'll find which one works the best for your taste-buds. Remember that it is easier to add more to a rub than it is to take it out. Of course you can simply add extra base ingredients if you end up with a blend that is just too powerful, but I like to be a bit more conservative with the herbs and spices and try to incorporate all the 'umph' into it in stages.
TIP: When you're expecting to make a great rub you have to start with great product. The dollar stores might have some herbs and spices but...there is always a but, I'm sure you do not in all honestly believe that what they're selling there is a great product...if it's not old and at the edge of expiration then it's just of poor to poorest quality. (Sorry, dollar store owners but that is the truth and you know it.) The herbs that I do not organically grow and dry myself I buy at a reputable store and that goes for the spices too. There are some great spice shops on-line too that sell a great product for reasonable prices.
To make a paste rub!
Lemon juice, white vinegar, white or red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar and yogurt all have their own degree of tartness and flavor. One of these or a combination of a couple can be added just before getting ready to prep the meat. To each 1/2 cup of rub spice add 1/3 cup of 'sour' liquid and let sit for 15 minutes, this will allow for all the flavors to co-mingle.
TIP: If making a Sauerbraten beef roast use red wine vinegar and a cup of dry red wine.
Basic Dry Meat Rub Ingredients:
The first seven ingredients are the basis for the rub to which all else to taste can be added. This was my Dads version which I still use till this day.
1 cup brown sugar (Splenda or Sugar Twin can be substituted)
1 cup sea salt (or Kosher or Table)
1 cup Hungarian Paprika (or Spanish)
1 cup Marjoram (1/2 oregano and 1/2 basil can be substituted)
1/3 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup onion powder
1 tablespoon ground black or white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (for mildly zingy rub---1 teaspoon for hot)
1/2 teaspoon crushed chili peppers (for mildly zingy rub---1 teaspoon for hot)
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (for mildly zingy rub---1 teaspoon for hot)
1/4 teaspoon horseradish powder (for mildly zingy rub---1/2 teaspoon for hot)
1/4 teaspoon celery seed (or crushed in a mortar and pestle)
1/4 teaspoon dill seed powder (or crushed in a mortar and pestle)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Add any other flavors to your taste in 1/2- 1 teaspoon increments. It's easier to keep adding more to increase the flavors as its impossible to take any out. This will give you roughly 5 cups of herbs and spice rub.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients mixing carefully so as not to get it into you eyes and nose, fill totally dry jars with the spice mix, label and date, seal tightly. Store in a cool, dry and dark location. The rub needs 4-6 weeks to meld together for optimal flavor. So if you would like to gift this rub to family and friends you will need to get it done between now and the end of October.
If you're making a batch and you would like to use some for the next BBQ pour what you might need into a small microwave safe bowl and zap it in the microwave for about a minute on medium then cover it with a plate or lid and let cool. This will heat up the oils that are present in the herbs and spices and blends or co-mingles them into a unified flavor.
TIP: After the jars have been washed, sterilized and completely dried and just before filling place them into the microwave and zap them for 45-50 seconds on high.
Extra Uses of the Meat Rub:
Add a bit to your meatloaf, meatballs and if you were so inclined to make your own sausage it's perfect for that too. In soups, stews, you can even create totally different tasting mashed potatoes or potato salad. I have a small jar to which I've added a couple of spoons of roasted sesame seeds, roasted flax seed and bacon bits, this I sprinkle on mixed garden salads after I've spritzed it with a vinegar and olive oil dressing. (I'm getting hungry just talking about this salad).
Instead of just making garlic bread spread add a little of the spice blend to the butter or margarine which ever your using (for best flavor let stand for 24 hours)...hmmmm really good. Also try sprinkling some on to your homemade foccaccia bread along with the coarse salt...yum.
The uses of this meat rub really are only limited by your 'gourmet creativity'.
Additional Herb Flavors!
For a Poultry Blend with pizazz combine:
1/3 cup basic meat rub
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon rosemary powder
1/2 teaspoon savory
1/4 teaspoon dried ground chipotle chili
For a different tasting Pulled Pork or Beef blend combine:
1/3 cup of basic meat rub
1/2 teaspoons dried lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried ground chipotle chili
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For a Seafood Blend to die for combine:
1/3 cup of basic meat rub
2 teaspoon dried chives (2 tablespoon if using fresh)
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon lemon basil flakes
1/2 teaspoon dill (1/2 tablespoon finely chopped if using fresh)
1/2 teaspoon French tarragon
1/2 teaspoon lime peel (1/2 tablespoon if grating off fresh lime)
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel (1/2 tablespoon if grating off fresh lemon)
1/4 teaspoon dried ground chipotle chili
How to use the Meat Rub!
Using the meat rub is pretty standard for all the different meat types. Obviously for more intense flavoring rub the spice blend in and let stand overnight for beef and pork or venison, couple of hours for poultry is enough and for seafood 1/2 hour is plenty.
TIP: For really tough meat combine 1 1/2 cup of papaya juice with the rub and let sit overnight.
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