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Flavorsome rubs for beef, lamb, goat and veal

Make the flavours soar with these rub combinations

Add extra flavour with very little effort to your beef and lamb roasts or steaks with these delicious ideas. Rubs can add the zest of herbs or garlic, or the complexity of spices to a roast. The meat absorbs the essential oils from the spices and herbs giving it a subtle flavour.

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How to use dry rubs

  • Use a favourite seasoning or ready-made spice and herb mix from the supermarket. Try lemon and garlic, Moroccan spice, Tuscan herbs or even steak seasoning mixes. Check out the supermarket shelves – you’ll find lots to choose from.
  • Use 2-3 tbsp of dry rub per 500g of meat.
  • Rub the mixture into the meat 20 minutes before barbecuing or roasting. Use enough pressure so it sticks evenly to the meat.
  • Remove any excess rub with a dry brush. Then, brush lightly with oil before the meat hits the heat.
  • Squeeze a little lemon juice over the meat as it cooks. This stops the spices and herbs burning.

Tasty dry rub combinations to try

Ground peppercorns, seeds (like coriander, cumin and fennel), dried herbs (like rosemary or oregano) and garlic powder easily combine to make delicious rubs for beef, lamb, veal or goat. Keep the combinations simple for the best results.

Try some of our suggestions below for beef or veal

Brush or spray the beef or veal lightly with oil and rub with one of these tasty combos before you cook.

  • 2 tsp of sweet paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt flakes, 1 tsp ground cinnamon or cumin and dried parsley
  • 2 tsp crushed dried green and white peppercorns, 2 tsp crushed coriander seeds, 2 tbsp dried tarragon leaves, 2 tbsp crushed yellow mustard seeds, 1 tbsp black peppercorns and a good pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp crushed coriander seeds, 2 tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes and a pinch of sugar and salt

A few tasty rub combinations for lamb

Brush or spray the lamb lightly with oil, season with a little salt and pepper and rub the lamb with one of these tasty combos before you cook.

  • A little chopped fresh thyme and rosemary leaves and lemon or garlic pepper
  • Dried oregano leaves and sweet paprika
  • A little brown sugar, garlic powder and dried Italian herbs
  • Dried mint and grated lemon rind
  • Your favourite bottled spice mix – try Moroccan or Tuscan

Using pastes to flavour

Pastes are made from dried spices and herbs with a little liquid to hold the ingredients together (often a little oil or finely pounded ginger and garlic). Gently rub the paste onto the meat before barbecuing or roasting - don’t over-load with too much paste.

Try these pastes

  • Spicey - Combine 2 tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp chilli flakes, ¼ cup chopped coriander, ¼ cup white vinegar
  • Mustard, orange and honey - Rub the roast with a mix of salt, pepper and a little seeded mustard or Dijon mustard and dried mixed herbs before roasting.
  • Peppercorns and garlic – combine a small can of green peppercorns (drained and lightly crushed), 2 cloves crushed garlic, 60g slightly crushed dried black peppercorns 2 tbsp oil. Add a little ground cumin, ground coriander or dried oregano for a variation.

How to store rubs and pastes

  • Keep any unused dry rub mix in an airtight container.
  • Pastes can keep in the fridge covered with plastic wrap for one or two days.
  • Discard any dry rub or paste that has come in contact with the raw meat.