Mesa Grill Menu - Steak Rub & Sauce

The real, original, Mesa Grill in New York's signature dish (or, one of them) is a New York strip steak with the following spice rub and steak sauce.

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It goes for USD 32 a crack down there on 5th Avenue (plus tax & tip). Another 7 for the twice baked potatoes, and 7 again for the corn salad. Sum: 46 + 9% = 50 + 20% tip = $60 per person! That, dear readers, was just for the main dinner plate. I guess I'm glad that I don't live in New York anymore! I don't remember it being so very expensive back in 2002.

Mesa Grill Steak Rub

Serves: 8 (8 tablespoons, ½ cup)


  • 2 T dried ancho chile powder
  • 1 T spanish paprika (sweet, not hot paprika) (best is paprika from Vera [the little red tins])
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 T dry mustard
  • 1½ t dried oregano
  • 1½ t ground cumin
  • 1½ t black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1½ t arbol chiles, ground up (you might use a mortar for this) (or use regular dried hot red chiles - from China or somewhere)
  • 1 T kosher salt


  1. Mix together. That's it.


  1. Use 1 T per steak (although they recommend 2 T I find that that much doesn't all stick to the steak anyway)
  2. Rub on only one side
  3. Keeps for 6 months in a zip freezer bag or some such thing so double or quadruple the recipe freely (doesn't have to be in the freezer though, nor refrigerated)

Mesa Grill Steak Sauce

Serves: 2 cups

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup prepared, ground, horseradish (the dryish sort; if it's liquidy you must drain it))
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 2 t worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T dried ancho chile powder
  • 1½ t kosher salt
  • 1½ t black pepper, freshly ground


  1. Mix together. That's it.


  1. Use the sauce to decorate the plate (do a better job than I did [see picture])
  2. You can do a heaping ½ cup of horseradish without ruining the recipe; if so, add a tablespoon or two of ketchup (to give a runny enough viscosity to the sauce)
  3. More ancho chile powder would be harmless as well; so make it two heaping tablespoons
  4. For 4 steaks you could halve the recipe unless you're very heavy users of steak sauce
  5. Keeps for a long as you'd keep ketchup and horseradish; nothing very perishable in it
  6. Making this with a homemade ketchup would be more elegant

Spice Crusted New York Strip Steak

Get some New York Strip steaks; 12 ounces (350 grams). Well marbled, with spots of fat throughout the meat, not just some stripes of fat within it. It will likely have a strip of fat along one side/edge - that's fine. An inch thick [2,5 cm]. If you're light eaters then one steak for two people. Spend some money to get good meat: it is, after all, the whole point of this dish.


Salt (kosher) & pepper one side of the steak. Put a tablespoon of rub on the other side - rub it in a bit - let the excess drop off (if any).

Put some (olive) oil in a grill pan; high heat 'til about smoking then down to medium high; slap in the steaks with the spice side down. Think of 4 minutes for side 1, 4 minutes for side 2 - that gets you a good medium rare probably.

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