The combination of espresso, cocoa and chilli adds a wonderful depth of heat and flavour to meats. It is a delicious rub for grilled steak, but will work equally well on pork tenderloin or brisket.
We were sent a jar of Station Grill Aztec Rub to review. I was really excited to see the jar tucked in with my goodies as I had already read some of tbe reviews on the station grill rubs and was finding them to be fairly mixed reviews. I love reviewing items that have mixed reviews because then I don't feel any pressure to write a perfect 10 review or perhaps a poor review, like everyone else did.
Station Grill rubs are a jar of spices that you rub onto your meat or veges to add flavour, colour, and depth to your dish. There are few things I adore in this world, coffee being one of these things. So to read the jar and see that ot was a mix of espresso, cocoa, and chilli I was very excited to get started. Step 1 of course was smellung the contents. I do not know which smell in the jar stands out the most but the combinedsmell of everything together is amazing. I can't even explain it but it is a sweet aroma that if it tastes as good as it smells you would be in heaven.
The finger taste test: meh! much like many spices etc theres nothing spectacular going on until cooked. So the lamb we had already to go was rubbed with canola oil and then a very decent amount of aztec rub was rubbed all over. Sje was cooked just like we always cook our lamb. Slowly :) OMG you should have smelled my house. The aztec rub combined with the lamb gave a beautiful smell which got stronger the more it cooked.
Final taster: Sooooo good! These rubs not only smell amazing and look perfect when coated and cooked on the meat but tbey taste super gootoo. Be generous with the amount you use because if you use it sparingly you can only just taste the flavour. it needs to be applied good and thick. This stuff is awesome and I hope to get to try another kind sometime. The only downfall, a jar of this would only last two meals for my family of 5 so not sure I could justify the price.
With a mixture of herbs and spices, such as the ones that can be found in Station Grill's Aztec Rub, I was most keen to give it a try.
The first thing I did was to have a little taste of it on its own, nothing screamed out at me but I knew it could taste totally different once cooked. My first try was just to mix some of this through our mashed potato and see how it went. It ended up adding a nice, subtle taste to the potatoes. With fussy kids, the next night I stirred this through some plain white rice, mixed with the falafel and bbq sauce and mayonnaise, the Aztec Rub mix added a nice flavour and went really well with everything.
I was cooking up some sausages and added this to the pieces and it gave a nice texture to the meat and gave it a nice subtle hint of flavour. The next time I used it was on a vegetarian dish using a beef substitute. I cooked some garlic and onion, threw in the "beef" and then a good amount of the Aztec Rub, I let it all simmer for a bit then added some pasta sauce and veges. The mix made the "beef" taste really nice and I would do it on that one again without a doubt. My final test was mixing some into a quiche (egg, flour, baking powder, cheese, falafel, veges) and the end result was really really nice.
This did great as a mix in both vegetarian and meat based meals, nice and versatile.
Taking the lid off you are met with the most amazing aroma and your mouth is left watering. For our first meal I made a pan-fried fish. On tin foil I put the snapper followed by a tablespoon of butter and then covered the fish in the Aztec Rub. The fish turned this beautiful brown tanned colour and gave the impression that it was going to be crispy, but it wasn't. It gave the fish a nice coating and the taste was subtle but you could sense it was there. I really enjoyed it and so did the rest of the family. Maybe next time I will use more rub to get more of a flavour out of it.
For my second meal we had Rump Steak. I had forgotten to coat it this morning and so when I got home tonight I rubbed the steak with oil and covered in the Aztec Rub and left in the fridge for half an hour while I prepared the rest of the dinner. Cooking was easy but made my pan so dirty. Again it was a subtle taste but you knew there was something there. It gave a real nice spice to it. You could also see it on the steak so you were expecting to taste something. We had baked potato with sour cream and mixed in with the sour cream was devine.
I really love the flavour of this and will definitly use in the future. Out of the two meals we have had, I have hardly used any of it so can tell it is value for money. I would like some instructions on the container, as not sure how much to use while preparing meals. I have jumped on the site but it only had a couple of recipes which had nothing to do with this flavour. It did say, however that this was nice with steak or a brisket.
A dip of the finger into the container gave me my first taste of Station Grill Aztec. I rather liked it and was excited about what it would be like on grilled meat. I was also intrigued about the fact it contained espresso, cocoa and chilli - a combination I had never had before.
I rubbed some into chicken thighs and left them for several hours to soak in. They were ok but not as amazing as I had expected. In fact, only a tiny bit different to a standard thigh without any rub added. Nothing amazing here. As with another one of the rubs in the range, the best luck we have had was putting it on top mashed kumara and potato. It added a nice crust on top of it. I think it only began to show off the potential of the rub more than any previous tests we had done.
After no real luck with the tests so far, I went onto the website and found a recipe that said to use oil and a liberal amount of oil. It was only at this point that I felt like I had a chance to correct the issues I had had thus far.
I finally tried mixing some oil and the Aztec rub together and then putting it onto some pork. I then sprinkled a liberal amount of the rub on top of the oil. I did this test at the same time as doing the same with the Smokey Honey Chipotle rub. The results were so much better than we had experienced with the initial tests. We could taste spice rather than a bland flavour.
I think that it would be a good idea to put a little instruction on the side of the pack to tell people like me how to successfully use the rub. It is only after all this playing around that I looked at the fact that the pack does 5 servings and that would indicate that you should use a liberal amount of the rub on each serving. Probably easier to state it rather than implying how much to use.
Anyway, I was really glad that I found the correct way to us the rub as it was much more satisfactory than my initial tests. While I enjoyed the Aztec, I think that my preference would actually be the Smokey Honey Chipotle if I was to purchase one of the rubs.
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