Grilled Irish Rib-eye Salad – a coffee rubbed delight

Grilled Irish Rib-eye Salad – a coffee rubbed delight

Health experts say we need to eat more salads. Nobody said it had to be a boring one. So why not pimping up a traditional Irish salad with some grilled ingredients. Grilled salad hearts for instance are a big win!! They combine well with some hints of coffee which lead me to the final result: “A grilled Irish Rib-Eye salad” with a Don Marco’s Mafia coffee rubbed aged irish rib-eye as the center piece of this salad.

Disclosure: “This post is sponsored by lidl and contains affiliate links. Elkedagbbq offered the rub as test product. All opionions shared are my own. ”

Coffee and Salad

While walking through the “Lidl” (our local supermarket), I stumble upon some little gem salad! A delicious product I don’t often use. I put it in my basket with some asparagus and other delicious vegetables. As I move on, I notice the aged Irish rib-eye in the cooling section.  While I don’t often buy meat at the supermarket, it’s too tempting to let it go. My head starts to spin and I immediately want to combine those awesome ingredients with a hint of coffee. I still remember a stunning starter I ate at “Va et Vient” a couple of years ago. One of my favorite restaurants in our region. My memory tells me they served the little gem salad with cured egg yolks and some ground coffee on top. I can be wrong about the last ingrediënt but that’s how I remembered it and what inspired me to combine the ingredients from the traditional Irish salad recipe I found online with the coffee rubbed grilled Irish Rib-Eye.

Grilled Irish Rib-eye

Grilled Salad

I remember the first time I heard about a grilled salad I was somewhat sceptic. If it wasn’t a big chef who shared this idea on TV I wouldn’t believe it could be delicious. So maybe you might have some troubles believing me when I say it’s awesome. The little gem is a smaller version of the Roman salad. It’s a crunchy slightly sweet piece of salad that contains a lot of flavour. When grilled the “caramelisation” makes the sweetness even better and the grilled/slightly burned pieces add a nice subtle bitter smokey flavor. Make sure you don’t grill them too long. You don’t want them to blacken and get completely bitter. Secondly, you don’t want to lose the crunchy texture. So you need to grill these little gems on a medium heat BBQ for a short period. Just long enough to get some roasted flavors. Just look at it! The beauty says a lot about the taste!

More about the Irish spring Salad

I found the base for this recipe in this post on “the just a pinch” website. I loved the combo of flavours especially when pimped up with some BBQ notes! Besides the Little Gem I grilled some asparagus to add to the “Grilled Irish Rib-eye Salad”. To maintain the balance of flavours I decided to keep the other ingredients raw. Especially the cucumber and radishes bring some refreshing notes to the salad. Besides these vegetables the awesome vinegar based dressing adds some acidic notes to the salad that make the other flavors explode. I won’t say it often but this salad rocks!

Coffee rubbed grilled Irish Rib-eye salad

The Irish Rib-Eye used for this recipe was aged for 21 days. This aging process helps the development of the flavour of this awesome piece of meat. This steak coming from the upper rib cage area is perfect for grilling. The muscles in this area are rarely under stress. Therefore the muscles in the rib cage are more tender than the hard working pieces like the shoulder parts who need a slow cooking approach. The marbling in this muscle part leads to a tasty, juicy steak in no time. Be careful when using a rub. You don’t want the delicious beef taste to get lost in spices. Salt and pepper are often enough, but coffee works well too! Being a big fan of coffee, Bart Gaudissabois owner of the online shop “” send me a sample of the “Don Marco’s Maffia Coffee rub“. A well balanced rub maintaining the right balance on steak. Overall a pretty good rub, but I hoped some more coffee notes in the end! On the other hand you don’t want the coffee to get burned while grilling. This will lead to an overly bitter taste. So maybe it’s better to have some subtle notes. Yet, make sure you don’t grill on extreme heat to prevent the coffee from burning.

Grilled Irish Rib-eye

More salads?

Believe it or not but this grilled rib-eye salad is one of the better recipes on this blog! In my opinion the complete salad is well balanced with the bittersweet little gem, the bitter notes of coffee, the salty hearty beef with a subtle coffee bitterness, … Especially with the acidity by the vinegar based dressing empowering all other flavors. In no time you will end up with a delicious meal full of delicious vegetables and a good piece of meat. And for those having kids… Guess what: “both of my boys wanted the same meal the next day”! #proudfather

Would your kids eat this fantastic grilled Irish rib-eye salad? Or are they picky eaters who would skip this? Any way you’ll win. If they skip it, there’s more for you to enjoy. Feel free to share this post with people who like to grill. It would not only do me a pleasure to see these recipes spread, I also like to get in contact with fellow BBQ freaks. Hope you enjoyed this post! More to come soon!

Looking for more beef recipes like this grilled Irish Rib-eye salad? Take a quick look over here.

Grilled Irish Rib-eye salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Resting time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

A salad shouldn’t be boring. Have you tried grilling some ingredients or adding a good piece of meat? This grilled Rib-Eye salad combines the best of both worlds. A delicious tender and juicy piece of coffee rubbed rib-eye combined with fresh ingredients and grilled little gem salad. No way you’ll skip on the vegetables this time!

Course: lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: European, Irish
Servings: 4
  • 6 pieces little gem salad
  • 1 bundle asparagus about 12 (or more at taste)
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 10 medium radishes tops removed
  • 4 eggs
  • Rapeseed oil at taste
  • salt at taste
  • lemon pepper at taste (or regular pepper)
For the dressing
  • 0.5 tbsp Mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 0.5 tsp light brown sugar
  • salt at taste
For the grilled rib-eye
  • 600 gr. rib-eye steak sliced in 2 steaks (or 1 thicker)
  • Don Marco’s coffee rub at taste
For the salad
  1. Prepare your grill for a direct cooking session at medium heat (+-200°C/400°F).

  2. While the grill is heating up you hard boil the eggs, let them cool down and peel them. 

  3. Cut the little gem salad in halves. Sprinkel the asparagus and little gemwith rapeseed oil and salt at taste. Don’t use pepper in this stage or it might burn.  

  4. Grill the vegetables until they are slightly charred. Watch out they don’t burn or they’ll get too bitter. 

  5. Slice the cucumber and radishes.

For the rib-eye
  1. Rub the Irish Rib-eye with Don Marco’s Mafia coffee or a homemade Coffee based rub like this one

  2. Grill the steaks on medium heat to prevent the coffee from burning. Take about 1 minute of grilling for each side per cm thickness of the steak. But this is purely a matter of taste. 

  3. Remove the irish rib-eye from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes so the juices can resettle in the steak. 

  4. Slice the irish rib-eye against the grain. And serve with the other salad ingredients.

For the vinegar based dressing
  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly untill the mayonnaise has completely dissolved. 

Drizzle some of the vinegar dressing, salt and lemon pepper on top of your salad at taste and enjoy your meal!

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