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Sebastian & Co.'s Charcoal Rub is a thing of exquisite beauty.
Store bought steak rubs are strictly for suckers. Not only are the spices generally well past their prime, they actually list them on the back so anyone with half a mind can simply read the label and go home and make the same rub themselves. Duh.Which is why when this little bottle rolled across my desk I was sort of, meh. For starters it was from West Van’s go-to butcher, Sebastian and Co, and to be honest if I’m going to lay out the $$$ for a piece of their meat, it’s getting salt and pepper and that’s it. So I put the Tomahawk I had in the fridge and decided to take it for a dry run (get it) on a trio of Costco-sourced striploins. It’s a weirdly fine rub, not at all granular like a classic Montreal steak rub. The result is that your fingers turn a deep black like one of the Ghost Nation robots in Westworld and it also turns the steak into an ominous dark hue. An Anish Kapoor of a steak.I only left it on for 30 minutes or so until the meat came to room temperature, grilled as normal and the result was…stupendous. The rub is an asado type so it’s going for a slightly smokey angle and it nails it. There’s some chipotle in it, but it doesn’t transmit any spice, just the vibe that your meat was cooked over some primordial Francis Mallman open fire. I took it off (the black nicely hides any flare up burns), let the meat rest and then just sliced it like a Bistecca alla Fiorentina. The contrast between the black crust and the red flesh is seriously dramatic and the taste is just perfect: smoke + savory.You can obviously buy it at Sebastian & Co. but if you’re not on the North Shore you can also get it at the following retailers:The Gourmet WarehouseUrban Fare in Coal HarbourThe Dirty Apron Cooking School & DeliEdible CanadaCioffi’sMeinhardtsWell SeasonedWindsor MeatsSuperior Fish At $14.95 it’s not cheap (Sebastian & Co. doesn’t do cheap), but it’s the best in the world and will last most of the season. A bargain.