Cocoa-Rubbed Steak With Bacon-Whiskey Gravy

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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For the steak:

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

3 1-pound New York strip steaks (about 1 1/2 inches thick)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the gravy:

4 strips bacon, diced

1 leek (white and light green parts only), finely chopped

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whiskey

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Make the steak: Mix the cocoa powder, both paprikas, brown sugar, cayenne and 2 teaspoons salt; rub on the steak and bring to room temperature, 30 minutes.
  2. Make the gravy: Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add the leek to the drippings and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the whiskey, then return to medium heat; if the alcohol ignites, let the flames die out. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture is reduced by one-quarter, about 8 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the gravy coats a spoon, about 7 minutes. Stir in the butter, reserved bacon and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter; when it melts, add the steak and sear until a dark crust forms, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Season with salt. Slice and serve with the gravy.