AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow Crust: The Perfect Beef Dry Rub Recipe

mrs o'leary's cow crust

Before hitting the smoker or grill with a steak or other beef cut, take it over the top with this delicious wet rub seasoning paste.

Catherine O’Leary was a humble Irish immigrant living on Chicago’s near Southside. Late in the night of October 8, 1871 her barn caught on fire, and the conflagration spread on the wings of high winds through thousands of wooden structures. More than 2,000 acres were destroyed and 90,000 were left homeless. The Chicago Tribune reported that the cause of the Great Chicago Fire was Catherine’s cow Daisy kicking over a lantern.

Years later the story’s author admitted he made up the story, but Mrs. O’Leary’s cow continues to take the rap. So I have named this rub after her to help rehabilitate her reputation. 

Most spice rubs are a mix of herbs and spices and we rub them into the meat before grilling (Click here for The Science of Rubs). This beef rub starts out that way, but then we transform it into a thick paste. The idea is, by mixing spices in water we can extract more flavors and get them into the little pits and cracks on the surface of the meat. Normally marinades and rubs don’t go very deep into the meat, but they can seriously change the composition of the surface, and the use of water fills the microscopic gaps on the surface with flavor, and enhances browning and crust formation.

Since there is no salt in this recipe, (click here to read why our rub recipes do not have salt), salting the meat first is a must. This process is called dry brining. Salt will penetrate deep into meat so you should get it on in advance, perhaps overnight. The rest of the spices and herbs cannot penetrate very deep, so the rub can go on anytime, even just before you start cooking. The general rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt per pound/453.6 grams of meat (don’t include bone, and ribs are about half bone).

Up your game: Join our Pitmaster Club. Try it out for free for 30 days. No credit card needed. No spam. Click here to Be Amazing!

Beef Rub Recipe


Cow Curst BBQ rub on cooked steak
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
4.76 from 379 votes
Make any cut of beef sing with the addition of our world famous Cow Crust dry rub seasoning blend.

Serve with: beef and a bold red wine.


Course:
Sauces and Condiments
Cuisine:
American

Makes:

About 1/4 cup/37.9 grams
Servings: 48 1/4-teaspoon servings

Takes:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon American paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder
Notes:
About the rosemary. You can leave the leaves whole or break them a bit with your hands. I throw them into a mortar and pestle and crush them just a bit to release their flavors. If you have fresh, double the quantity and coarsely chop it.
About the chipotle. Don't be a wuss. This is only 1/2 teaspoon for 10 pounds/4.5 kilograms of meat, and it is all on the surface, not the interior. Like a viola, you don't notice it, but take it out of the orchestra and something is missing.
Optional. Add 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder to the dry mix and/or 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish to the paste.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Prep. Mix everything together in a bowl.
  • Storing the rub. If you are not using immediately, store in a jar for use later or proceed to the next step if you plan to use it now.
  • To use. Dry brine the meat hours in advance. When it is time to use the rub, you can use it straight, or mix 1 part of the dry rub with 1 part water to make a paste. (Note: You can use oil, but the herbs dissolve better in water).
    BBQ dry rub paste in a bowl
  • Pat the meat dry with paper towels, pour the paste on and rub it in. You can cook right away.

Nutrition

Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

Related articles

Published On: 4/27/2014 Last Modified: 10/4/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker


Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One


The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

kamado grill
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

Click here for our article on this exciting cooker


Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker


Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

 

Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

Click here to order.

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube