Cleo Coyle's Coffee-Marinated Steak

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See you there!
~ Cleo

Here’s a simple tip for making an economical cut of meat delicious—and a nice use for your leftover joe, too, because why not make use of every last drop?

Why I love this recipe: Grilling is a cooking process that too often overly dries thinner or less expensive cuts of meat. My coffee marinade imparts a wonderful, earthy character to the meat while also plumping it up, keeping it moist throughout the grilling process. 

Sure a super-fat T-bone steak would retain its moistness, but who can afford cuts like that for the whole family? As an experiment, I grilled my top round coffee-marinated steak alongside a rib eye steak treated only with dry rub. The top round was half the price, but tasted twice as good, thanks to its little bath in bean juice!

Can't you just hear the sizzle?

~ Cleo
Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.



Steaks for grilling or broiling 
Coffee, freshly brewed and cooled
Salt & Pepper
Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Scallions or shallots (optional)
Favorite steak dry rub (optional)

Step 1 – Purchase your meat: Go for an economical cut. (We use top round.) Pound the steak out with the spike side of a meat hammer. If you don’t have a meat hammer, then put your steak in a plastic bag and pound it with a regular hammer or the back of a ladle, and prick it all over with a fork. This starts the tenderizing process. (It also does wonders for venting frustration. Who needs therapy when you can pound meat?)

Step 2 – Cover with coffee: Place your steaks in a glass or plastic container and pour enough cold coffee over them to cover. You can use any kind of coffee. Choose one you would enjoy drinking and brew it up fresh. Just make sure you allow the coffee to cool completely before pouring it over the raw meat.

Step 3 – Add a little seasoning: Add a tablespoon of salt (we use coarsely 
ground sea salt), a dash of pepper, and (optional) a couple of diced scallions or shallots along with a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Cover the container with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 to 3 hours. No longer! 

Step 4 – Remove and grill: Pull the steaks out of the container and discard the liquid. Do not rinse, simply apply a favorite dry rub. There are many delicious dry steak rubs available in your grocery aisle (our favorite is Szeged brand Steak Rub in the little black metal can). Cook your coffee-marinated steaks on a charcoal or gas grill, or broil the meat in the oven.

To download a PDF version
of this recipe 
that you
can print, save, or share, 
click hereand...

When my amateur sleuth, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi, made a version of this dish in Through the Grinder, she cooked it in a cast iron skillet on the top of her stove. The stovetop is a great option, too, because it allows for pan drippings, which means...gravy! So I couldn’t resist having Clare whip up a delish side dish of Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Hearty Coffee Gravy. Yes. Coffee gravy! You can find those recipes in the back of Through the Grinder, too.

To find out more about our culinary mystery series,
visit our 
Coffeehouse Mystery Web site,
where you’ll find more recipes, as well. 

More recipes to post soon...

Cheers, everyone!


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