Traditional recipes

Buffalo Tenderloin Steak with Chili Espresso Rub

Buffalo Tenderloin Steak with Chili Espresso Rub

Buffalo Tenderloin Steak with Chili Espresso Rub

Make a big batch of this simple espresso steak rub and use it to bring out an earthy, warm coffee flavor all cuts of meat. Recipe courtesy of Meat Market restaurant.


This recipe makes a large batch of steak rub; you won't use it all on these two steaks, so save any leftovers in a resealable air-tight storage container.


  • 2 ancho chiles
  • ¼ Cup cumin seed
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ Cup ground espresso
  • ¼ Cup chili powder
  • ¼ Cup smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ Cup salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 8-ounce buffalo filet mignon steaks


Calories Per Serving839

Folate equivalent (total)52µg13%


Step 1

Mix ancho chile powder, ground coffee, brown sugar, paprika, dried oregano, pepper, coriander, mustard, chile de árbol powder, ginger, and 1 Tbsp. salt in a small bowl.

Step 2

Season steaks with salt, then coat with 5 tsp. spice rub per steak (save any extra rub for your next steak). Place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and chill uncovered 3–6 hours.

Step 3

Let steaks sit 1 hour to come to room temperature, which will help them cook quickly and more evenly.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook steaks 2 minutes or so on each side to create a nice crust. Transfer skillet to oven cook steaks until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120° for medium-rare, about 5 minutes. Transfer steaks to a cutting board let rest 10 minutes. Slice ½" thick.

How would you rate Coffee-Rubbed Steak?

Followed recipe to the letter and it was perfect. There is 2 or 3 times as much rub as you need so there is leftover for next time.

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What’s a beef rub?

A rub is a mixture of spices and seasonings that add flavor without overpowering beef.

Rubs have two varieties — dry and wet.

Dry rubs use dry herbs and spices, and wet rubs use spices plus a wet ingredient like soy sauce or oil to form a paste.

Rubs are applied directly to the surface of the meat, and they’re a very easy way to enhance the flavor of the meat without overpowering it.

Rubs can be added just before cooking or hours before.

In Texas many barbecue joints use just plain old salt and pepper, called Dalmatian rub. But beef brisket and BBQ beef ribs can handle, and benefit from, a more potent mix. Our beef dry rub recipe creates a rich, flavorful, crunchy crust, called the bark or Mrs. Brown.

Beef rub for brisket, beef ribs, steak, and other cuts is different than pork rub. Pork loves sweetness, but beef does not. The best pork rubs have of more sugar in them, like Meathead’s Memphis Dust. Black pepper, on the other hand, works great when seasoning beef.

You can make this barbecue dry rub recipe days or weeks in advance. It makes more than you need even when used as a brisket dry rub, so you can just put any extra in to a clean jar or zipper bag for use at a later date.

Using the Rub

If your meat has not been pre-salted, shoot for about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat and apply it heavier on thick spots. When possible, apply the salt the day before, but even an hour or two is enough to get it moving inward, and the science advisor Prof. Greg Blonder has shown that when the meat heats, the salt moves deeper and faster. Click here to read more about this process, called dry-brining.

With this beef dry rub recipe, you can apply it in advance (some people like to apply it the night before), but the fact is, most molecules in the rub are too large to penetrate more than a fraction of an inch, just like marinades. And they don’t have the electrical properties that salt has. The rub is mostly a surface treatment for flavor and bark. So you can apply the rub just before cooking if you wish. Moisture and oils will mix with the spices and herbs, heat will work its magic on them, and all will be wonderful. I like to lightly wet the surface with water before the rub because many of the flavors in the rub are water soluble. Spread the rub generously on beef brisket, not so thick on other, thinner cuts.

Also, be aware that the drippings from a salted meat for use in a gravy or jus will probably not need salting, so be sure to taste before you add salt. Remember, you can always add salt, but you can’t take it away.


2. Mix together the ancho, cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub 1 tablespoon of the oil on the tenderloin, then rub evenly with the spice mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining tablespoon a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the tenderloin (bending it to fit in the pan if necessary) until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the tenderloin to a rimmed baking pan and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the tenderloin reads 130°F (for medium-rare), about 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the string and slice crosswise.

  • 4 filet mignon (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons/10 mL cumin (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL paprika
  • 1 teaspoons/5 mL garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons/7.5 mL brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL sea salt

Place dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix together. Coat each steak with spice mixture. Make sure each steak has a good amount of seasoning on it.

Put steaks in a small glass dish, cover, and place in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.

Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Place steaks on grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. When steaks reach the desired doneness, remove from heat and serve.

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Chili Colorado Is the Greatest Recipe of All Time

You know those recipes we hold near and dear to our hearts because they are really the greatest ever of all time? Well, we’re using this series as an opportunity to wax poetic about them. Recipe developer Rick Martinez's mom's chili Colorado, to be exact. They truly are the greatest recipe of all time. Here’s why.

My mom was an amazing cook and she's the reason why I cook today. She even got me my first subscription to Bon Appétit when I was 16. Even though I loved just about every dish she made, there is one that immediately comes to mind when I think of home (and what I always want to eat): Chili Colorado. It’s a traditional Mexican dish of beef or pork stewed in a red chili sauce—chili “colored red,” not chili from the state of Colorado. Most people who make it now use chili powder. Not my mom. She used freshly dried chiles (like, the kind that have not been sitting around on a store shelf for a year getting dry and brittle).

When I was little, I remember her buying different varieties of dried chiles from the markets in Mexico and Texas. After experimenting with different combinations to make this dish, she discovered her favorite combination: ancho, pasilla, and guajillo. In her Chili Colorado, these chiles are the star. I was always amazed at how much flavor and complexity they added to the dish.

My greatest memory of all time is coming home to mom’s smile, the sound of her rolling pin rolling out the homemade flour tortillas and the smell of the chili simmering on the stove. Now, when I think of my mom or I feel homesick, I make this dish.

Here’s how you do it. Take 5 anchos, 2 pasillas, and 2 guajillos, and remove the stems and seeds. Look for chiles that are soft and pliable, like a raisin. If they are brittle, they are old and will be flavorless—don't use them!

Cover chiles with 3 cups of boiling chicken stock and let them steam, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes until they are plump and tender. Put the chiles and all of the soaking liquid into a blender and purée until very smooth.

Cut 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder into ½” pieces, season with salt and pepper, and brown the meat in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat with a little bit of vegetable oil to keep it from sticking. Chop up a bunch of garlic (about 6 garlic cloves) and throw it in the pot along with two bay leaves, a tablespoon of ground cumin, and a couple of teaspoons of chopped fresh sage and chopped fresh oregano (Mexican oregano if you have it). Stir that around for about a minute, or until very fragrant. Add in 5 cups of chicken stock and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Then, stir in the chile purée and simmer for another 45 minutes until the meat is very tender and the sauce is a thick, mahogany-red color. Season with additional salt and pepper.

My mom served this with Mexican rice, beans a la charra, and flour tortillas. But just give me a bowl of Chili Colorado and a stack of homemade tortillas and I am a happy man. Thanks mom—for the greatest recipe of all time.

Perini Ranch

The Perini Ranch Mesquite Smoked Peppered Beef Tenderloin is excellent served with boiled shrimp or crab, assorted cheeses and patés, fresh fruits and crisp garden salads. It's always great to have on hand for dinner parties, unexpected guests, or to give as a unique and perfect gift for the holidays, a special occasion, or just to say Thank You. The tenderloin is also wonderful served with rolls and paired with Perini Ranch Horseradish Sauce.

How many people will my Mesquite Smoke Peppered Beef Tenderloin feed?

Each tenderloin weighs 2-2 1/2 pounds and serves 6- 8 people as an entree or 12-15 for hors d'oeuvres.

Would the Mesquite Smoked Peppered Beef Tenderloin make a good corporate gift?

Yes it would! Over the years, we have developed a loyal following of professionals who give this tenderloin as a token of appreciation to clients and associates. The Perini Ranch Mail Order staff will work with you personally to process multiple orders for your business needs. Each tenderloin gift includes a personalized gift card (to include your corporate logo, if you prefer) and we do not include any paid invoice, receipt, or packing slip so that your gift price remains private.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. Your personal information is sent securely and no credit card information is ever saved.

What is your privacy policy?

Perini Ranch is and has been a family-run business for over 30 years. Our ultimate goal is to build and maintain relationships with our customers. We value your privacy and do not share your personal information with third parties. Our privacy policies are verified by TRUSTe, the Internet’s leading privacy watchdog.

What is your satisfaction guarantee and your return policy?

All merchandise is guaranteed to be fresh and should be inspected immediately upon arrival. Credit will not be granted if unsatisfactory items are discarded or partially consumed. Please keep all packaging intact for returns. All claims must be made within twenty-four hours of receipt of shipment. Once the claim is received and accepted by Perini Ranch, we will automatically reship merchandise.

+ How much will shipping cost?

The Perini Ranch Mesquite Smoked Peppered Beef Tenderloin must arrive the day after it is shipped to maintain the quality of the product. We can ship FedEx Ground for $25 in most of the state of Texas and parts of Oklahoma and Louisiana. Everything outside of the highlighted area on the map below must be shipped FedEx Express for $40. Shipping does increase at a prorated rate for each additional tenderloin per shipment.

+ How will my order stay fresh during shipping?

We have been shipping and refining our methods since 1995. Your Perini Ranch Mesquite Smoked Peppered Beef Tenderloin is packed to order in a Styrofoam container with ice bricks to keep your item as cold as possible for 48 hours, even though we ship overnight to ensure the quality.

We have proudly partnered with PeriShip for the best possible shipping service. The team at PeriShip along with our shipping team here at Perini Ranch work day and night to ensure that your order arrives on time and in the best possible condition.

You will receive a FedEx tracking link as soon as your FedEx label is printed. Tracking information may not be available until after 5pm the day the package is shipped.

In case of extreme weather, our dedicated team at PeriShip will work with FedEx to re-route your package and notify the recipient of potential changes. Our team in Buffalo Gap will vigilantly communicate with all parties involved to make your ordering and shipping experience as smooth as possible.

+ Do you require someone to sign for the package at delivery?

All packages delivering to a business or valued at over $500 require a signature at delivery.

+ Do you ship on national holidays?

No. We cannot deliver packages on the following holidays or the day after: New Year’s Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We are also unable to deliver on Sundays and Mondays.

+ What delivery days can I choose for my order?

You may choose Tuesday-Saturday. Please note that all orders scheduled for Saturday delivery are subject to a $25 surcharge and these orders must be placed over the phone 800-367-1721 to verify that the shipping address qualifies for Saturday delivery.

+ Why can you not deliver on Monday?

FedEx does not operate on Sunday and cannot pick up the package for delivery on Monday.

Tenderloin Tips

&bull This tenderloin is fully cooked to a perfect medium-rare and meets all USDA standards.

&bull Upon receipt of tenderloin, place immediately in either freezer or refrigerator. If the vacuum seal has not been broken, the beef can be stored in the freezer for up to one year. In the refrigerator, up to seven days.

&bull Thawing &dash remove the beef from vacuum seal and place on a plate, covered loosely with plastic wrap. The tenderloin will thaw under refrigeration in 24 hours or at room temperature in 4 hours.

&bull We do NOT recommend heating or microwaving the tenderloin. The beef has maximum flavor when served at room temperature or chilled.

&bull When thawed and ready to serve, slice into 1/4" medallions for hors d'oeuvres (yielding approximately 40 slices), no more than 1/2" medallions for entrees (yielding approximately 20 slices).

&bull A tenderloin should serve approximately 15 as hors d'oeuvres or 8 as an entree.

May we suggest .

Our tenderloins leave Perini Ranch only after they are smoked to perfection &dash no cooking required!
They're great as a gift, and since they require no preperation, you can keep on or two in the freezer at all times for those unexpected guests.
To serve, it's simple thaw, slice, and serve. But for a little variety, try these suggestions:

&bull The Mesquite Smoked Peppered Beef Tenderloin is perfect on a cocktail buffet. Traditionally, beef is served with horseradish cream, and here's a simple, elegant way to present the tenderloin.

&bull Slice tenderloin into 1/4 inch medallions. Serve on party rolls and top with Perini Ranch Horseradish Sauce.

Perini Ranch Horseradish Sauce
8 ounces sour cream
2 ounces prepared horseradish
Mix sour cream and horseradish together and chill. Garnish with and freshly chopped herbs or parsley.

&bull On the light side, top a salad with thin slices of Mesquite Smoked Peppered Beef Tenderloin. We love it with crisp romaine, blue cheese crumbles and spicy pecans tossed in a light vinaigrette.

&bull For a twist, arrange thinly sliced tenderloin medallions on a large plate, sprinkle with chopped fresh arugula and fresh grated Parmesan, then drizzle with a really good extra virgin olive oil and serve with a sliced baguette.

Over the years, we have developed a loyal following of professionals who give this tenderloin as a token of appreciation to clients and associates. The Perini Ranch Mail Order staff will work with you personally to process multiple orders for your business needs. Each tenderloin gift includes a personalized gift card (to include your corporate logo, if you prefer) and we do not include any paid invoice, receipt, or packing slip so that your gift price remains private.

Feel free to contact our team of order specialists at 800.367.1721 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm CST with any questions.

Please download our Corporate Order Packet by clicking below. Email completed documents to [email protected] A member of our team will follow up with you shortly after receiving your email.

If you have any additional questions, or would like to place an order, please visit our Online Store or call 1-800-367-1721

  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee or instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 2-pound center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 3 dried ancho chiles (about 1 ounce) or 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 small shallot, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 ½ cups reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

To prepare beef: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

Combine coffee, brown sugar, paprika, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Rub the mixture all over the tenderloin. Transfer to the prepared pan.

Roast the tenderloin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 130 degrees F for medium, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

To prepare sauce: Meanwhile, put whole chiles (if using) in a medium bowl, cover with boiling water and weight down with a small plate or pot lid. Soak for 10 minutes drain. Remove the stems and seeds. Add the chiles (or chile powder) to a blender along with shallot, garlic and 1/2 cup broth. Blend to a thick puree, scraping the sides once or twice. Push the puree through a strainer into a bowl. Discard the solids.

Heat oil in a small, high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the puree and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1 cup broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 30 to 35 minutes. Add more broth, if desired, for a thinner consistency.

Slice the tenderloin into thick rounds and serve with the sauce.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the sauce (Steps 4-5) up to 2 hours ahead hold at room temperature and reheat just before serving.