For our favorite rub, the spices are ground to a fine powder; you’ll need a spice mill or coffee grinder. Spice particles that are all the same size create a rub that melts when used on meat. No one flavor will predominate, and you won’t feel gritty spice particles when you’re eating. The combination of spices is savory, with just a little sweetness. Use leftover rub as called for in a variety of recipes in this book. You’ll also find yourself reaching for this well-balanced all-purpose rub for all kinds of meat, as well as fish, vegetables, french fries, and popcorn.

Makes about 2 1/4 cups

1/2 cup sweet Hungarian paprika

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup granulated garlic

1/4 cup chili powder

1/4 cup ground cumin

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients. Using a spice mill or coffee grinder, blend 1/4 cup at a time to a powder-like consistency so that all of the spice particles are relatively the same size.

Store in a tightly covered container in a cool, dark place. The rub keeps for about 6 months, or until the color or pungent aroma fades.

Variation: To make this rub a little spicier, increase the mustard and black pepper to 2 tablespoons each.

Source: Magic Mary Bar from Praise the Lard by Mike and Amy Mills. Copyright © 2017 by Mike and Amy Mills. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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