spicy porcini steak rub

I can’t seem to find all the photos I’ve taken of this steak rub recipe.  It’s weird.  Oh well – you can get the picture with just one I suppose.

You will need a spice/coffee grinder for this recipe.  I use this one.

This porcini steak rub is delicious.  Spicy, sweet, salty and mushroomy.   Greg found this recipe first and shared it with me.  Since then I’ve make it several times – and sent the spice mix to the boys while at school.  They were surprised and happy because once the spice mix is made – well – it is simple to prepare the steak.  

The original recipe is from The Food Network here.  And they make it with rib-eyes.  Our boys happen to love the softness of a tenderloin and this rub adds a depth and flavor to the filets.  The original recipe is truly fire.  I mean spicy fire.  Greg said he made it and couldn’t eat it.  So he cut back on the spices and then sent it to me.    It’s still spicy and delicious but still too spicy for some.  So fiddle as you need depending on your friends and families taste.  The recipe below is the less spicy version.

Leftover steak in a salad the next day is really really beyond good.  I prefer it that way.  A little blue cheese and arugula, tomatoes and cucumbers – topped with a little extra virgin olive oil and a dash of fig vinegar and well…mouthwatering! 

When I make this I multiply by 4 – but it can get confusing.  So consider that or just double it- storing the leftovers in a glass jar or double bag it.

Also – when you make this it can get quite spicy in the room.  The peppercorns, the red pepper – well I sneeze and my eyes tear and I get messy.  However, I’ve learned that if you wear a mask (and we all have these now!) it helps a lot.  I’ll even put on some swim goggles and although I look strange it really saves me from any spice dust! 

Enjoy –


  • 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms broken up
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt.  Get some diamond crystal in your house.  It is the best (in my opinion) do not use table salt for this or Mortons
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes 
  • a little oil to coat the steaks
  • I use 8 oz filets and they are quite thick – what you use will determine cooking time 


Process the mushrooms in the spice grinder until they form a powder.  Place in a bowl.

Process the salt and peppercorns in the same grinder and add to the mushroom powder.  

Process the sugar in the grinder and add that to the mix.

Process the garlic and red pepper flakes in the grinder and add it to the mix.  

Whisk all together (this is when the mask and goggles come in handy!)

Store in a double bag or glass jars.

You can make the steak any way you want – this is how I do it but I’m a novice steak maker so you do what you know.

Place some powder on a plate. 

Coat steak with a little oil – olive oil is fine 

Push each steak into the rub and make sure you hot both sides and the edges.

Place a little oil in a pan- this time I would use an avocado oil or a cold pressed canola oil –  and sear the steaks on all sides.  2-3 m on each side.  Transfer to a sheet pan with foil on it if you sauté pan isn’t oven temp proof.

Then place in the oven.  I roast the steaks – my oven has a convection roast and I like that.   But you could also broil on medium.  Or set to bake at a higher temp.  

I check the steaks a lot with a thermometer.  Andy and Greg like them medium rare so I pull them when the temp is around 130-135 as they cook a bit more on the counter while they rest for at least 10 minutes.  Cook longer as needed for those who like their steak medium 140 degrees (me) or well done 150 degrees (Sylvie).

Slice and enjoy!  

Marcella Hazan’s bolognese sauce

This is the best bolognese sauce I’ve made to date!  Andy loved it.  He said “fire” and “the best” while he shoveled it into his mouth.  I agree with him.  I researched bolognese and found a plethora of recipes.  So how to choose?  I ended up picking one of Marcella Hazan’s recipes because several bloggers and articles said hers (and specifically this one of hers) was the best.  I was hesitant because I’ve only made bolognese with red wine – and in this calls for white.  And well, now my vote is in too.  Enjoy –

This serves 4-6 people depending on your pasta/meat ratio.  I doubled it and froze some for a later delicious date.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot 
  • 3/4 pound ground beef chuck (or 1 part pork to 2 pounds beef)  
  • Salt, fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • nutmeg 
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up with their juice
  • 1 1/4 to 1 pound pasta
  • freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano 


Place the oil, butter and onions in your pot on medium heat and cook until the onions are a translucent.  Stir often so as not to burn the onions.

Add the celery and carrot to the pot and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes – until soft. 

Place the ground meat into the pot and add a healthy pinch of kosher salt and grind a bunch of black pepper.  

Cook stirring here and there until the meat has lost its raw red color.

Add the milk and reduce to a simmer – continue to cook and stir  until the milk has bubbled away completely.  

Next add a tiny grating of whole nutmeg (if you have – or measure out grated) – approximately 1/8 of a teaspoon.  A little goes a long way here. 

Add the wine and let it simmer until it evaporates.  

Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil.  Once boiling reduce to the slightest simmer.   Marcalla says “when the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface”

Simmer, uncovered for at least 3 hours.  This is important.  The flavors will meld and the sauce will deepen in flavor.  Stir occasionally.  If your sauce looks dry add a half cup of water here and there – and continue to cook and simmer.  At the end you should cook until all the water has evaporated.

Re season with salt and pepper.  And really – don’t be shy about the salt.  Use kosher salt and keep adding bit by bit to taste.  I find that most home cooks underseason – being afraid of salt.  And yes, if you are following a low salt diet – then I get it.  But at restaurants we use salt really liberally.  And it truly brings out the flavor of your dishes.

Cook pasta and drain – add a tablespoon of butter (if you choose) and then mix in the sauce – serve with cheese on the side.