Midday Fix: Sheet Pan Coffee-Chili–Rubbed Steaks with Sweet Potatoes and Scallions

Midday News

Joe Gitter, Senior Editor at America’s Test Kitchen and an on-screen instructor for America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School


Recipe from: The Complete One Pot Cookbook


Coffee-Chili–Rubbed Steaks with Sweet Potatoes and Scallions

Sheet Pan

Serves 4

Total Time 1 1/4 hours

Why This Recipe Works While we usually depend on a ripping-­hot skillet to turn out steaks with a strong crust, we saw potential in our sheet pan to give us similar results for a complete meal using a more hands-off approach. A pleasantly bitter coffee rub accentuated the meat’s savoriness; chili ­powder added heat, and brown sugar guaranteed some appealing caramelization. We sliced sweet potatoes into wedges and let them soften in the pan as it heated up, then added the steaks 25 minutes in and scattered scallions over the potatoes. Since the pan had preheated while cooking the sweet potatoes, it provided the sizzle we love (and the sear that comes with it) when we added the steaks. Our steaks reached a juicy medium-­rare in only 12 minutes. To give our dish a final ­flourish, we served our steaks with quick-pickled radishes. Don’t be afraid to use all of the coffee rub on the steak—it aids in browning in addition to adding flavor. The scallions should be left whole; trim off only the small roots. We prefer these steaks cooked to medium-­rare, but if you prefer them more or less done, see our guidelines on page 141.


      10    radishes, trimmed and sliced thin

      1     tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

      1     tablespoon table salt, divided

      2 1/4  teaspoons pepper, divided

      1 1/2  pounds sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut lengthwise into 1‑inch wedges

      2     tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

      16    scallions, trimmed

      2     tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

      1     tablespoon finely ground coffee

      1     tablespoon chili powder

      2     (1‑pound) boneless strip or rib-eye steaks, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches thick, trimmed


1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss radishes with lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. Toss potatoes with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Place potatoes skin side down on half of rimmed baking sheet. Roast until potatoes begin to soften, about 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toss scallions with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in now-empty bowl. Combine sugar, coffee, chili powder, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and rub with spice mixture.

4. Lay scallions on top of potatoes. Place steaks on empty side of sheet. Roast until steaks register 120 to 125 degrees (for medium-rare) and potatoes are fully tender, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through roasting.

5. Remove sheet from oven. Transfer steaks bottom side up to cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Leave vegetables on sheet and tent with foil. Slice steaks 1/4 inch thick and serve with vegetables, pickled radishes, and lime wedges.

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