Smoky Pepper & Cacao Nib Rub

This slightly spicy rub gets its complex, nutty and earthy flavors from the cacao nibs and Chile Negro. Try it on your favorite grilled pork cuts like ribs, tenderloins, or chops. Rub it into a whole chicken or a Thanksgiving turkey. It’s exceptional with beef: tri-tip, skirt steak, T-bones, rib-eye or smoked brisket. The rub should remain on the meat overnight for maximum flavor, especially for larger cuts of meat and whole poultry. It can be rubbed in a few hours in advance for smaller portions of proteins. If you are a veggie lover, grilled eggplant calls its name.

  • Cut the stem off of the dried chili. Shake out the seeds and discard them.

  • Heat an ungreased, small griddle, cast iron skillet or sauté pan on medium high heat. Toast the chili directly on the hot griddle until pliable, 1-3 minutes on each side or until soft. Allow to cool.

    Roughly cut the chili into 2” pieces or snip with scissors if you find the chili too tough to cut with a knife.

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor bowl fitted with the cutting blade. Blend until the chili and cacao nibs break down and resemble coarse cornmeal. Use immediately or store in tightly covered jar in a cool dark place for up to one month.

    DO NOT refrigerate.