Mole Rubbed Flat Iron Steaks

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Mole Rubbed Flat Ion Steaks have a rich mole flavor in a quick and easy rub. It’s rich with cacao nibs combined with other steak rub spices.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, right?  Well, it’s not like I INVENTED this, but I had to come up with something.  You see, I took for granted that I’d have enough cocoa powder to make these FAIL cupcakes AND the mole rub.  Yeah, I didn’t.  SO, I had to make something up.

I didn’t think it would be any good trying to use bar chocolate and I just couldn’t imagine this with cocoa mix.  I was trying to figure out what I had that I could use because my lazy arse didn’t want to go to the store for cocoa powder.  However, I WILL have to hit the store for ice sometime this week.  That didn’t make it on the list…

Cacao nibs!  Huh?  

You haven’t heard of these little gems?  They’re all the rage!  All the cool chefs are using them.  *snort*

Roasted bits of cacao beans are called cacao nib.  The beans are made into chocolate by roasting and then grinding into a paste where additional cacao butter, milk, sugar, etc is added.  So this is like raw chocolate.  You see where I’m going with this?  Cacao?  Cocoa powder?  Cacao powder?  Mole?

 Do I need to spell it out?  

I ground 2 tablespoons of these little gems and added them to my mole rub for these Mole Rubbed Flat Iron Steaks.  Not quite the chocolate flavor I was thinking, but man oh man was it goooooood!  S said there was too much chili in it.  Maybe…for a mole. But I thought it was good.  Really good.

I ground smoked paprika, sweet paprika, chipotle powder, chili powder, cumin seeds, oregano, cacao nibs, and granulated garlic in my spice grinder.  O M G it smelled AMAZING!  I was thinking, “Is it dinner time?  Cause I just want to eat this.”

Remember those flat-iron steaks S got at WalMart?  Well, I thought Mole Rubbed Flat Iron Steaks would be a perfect use for those little gems.  For those that don’t know, flat-iron steaks are cut from the shoulder.  I never had one nor cooked with one before, but I was treating it like I would a London broil; either flash fry or slow braise.  We flash fried these little gems.  They were tasty and juicy!

Let’s make Mole Rubbed Flat Iron Steaks!

I coated each side with mole rub.  As you can see, they don’t have that dark color that a mole would.  The cacao nibs that I ground didn’t either.  They were a dark red color, just like this.

I love dry rubs, but they always seem to make a mess….of my hands.

Wear gloves?  NO!  Then I’d have nothing to complain about and not evidence of my hard work.  LOL  S heated a pan on high and added some canola oil, about 1-1 1/2 tablespoonfuls so they wouldn’t stick to our stainless steel pans.  If you have non-stick, then you can probably get away with just a spritz or two of cooking spray.

Cook on one side for about 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook 3-4 minutes more or until desired doneness.

S cooked them.  Since they were room temperature, they didn’t take long to cook, but he says they could have cooked a little longer.  I think they were medium rare.  *shrugs*


Mole Rubbed Flat Iron Steaks
Yield: 4 servings

Mole Rubbed Flat Iron Steaks

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

They say necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, it's not like I INVENTED this, but I had to come up with something to use up cocoa powder. Mole Rubbed Flat Ion Steaks have a rich mole flavor in a quick and easy rub.


  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 pound flat-iron steaks, trimmed


  1. Combine first 9 ingredients (cacao nibs through chipotle chili powder) in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Rub the steaks on both sides with the spice mixture.
  3. Heat a skillet over high heat and add 1 T canola oil, swirling to coat.
  4. Add steaks and cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.
  5. Allow to rest 5 minutes then serve with Chili Roasted Potatoes and Parsnips.

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  1. Wow, this mole steak rub looks so delicious! Thanks for linking up this post to The Best Blog Recipe’s Weekend re-Treat #9!

    I know I’m running a little bit behind in pinning but I wanted to stop by and pin your image to My Link Parties Craft/DIY & Recipe Boards while I was here.

    Hope to see you link up again at the party this weekend! It just went live on the blog not too long ago 


  2. This sounds good! With summer coming up, I may have to use this for grilling! Thanks for linking up at Crafty Thursday Obsessions. Hope we see you again this week 🙂 Have a great rest of the week
    -Stacey Gluedtomycrafts.blogspot.com

    1. My twin! *giggle* I haven't really played with them yet. This is the only thing I've used them with. I haven't had much time to research them yet, but they smelled A-mazing when I ground them.

  3. I have never heard of 'mole' or cocoa nibs! The combo of cocoa and spices sounds like a very interesting flavour. Will be trying, probably with cocoa powder though 🙂

  4. Visiting from Mom's Monday Mingle. Glad to discover your website. I hope you'll share it at this week's Friday Flash Blog on The Jenny Evolution (www.thejennyevolution.com). Would love to have you join our community.

  5. Your rub sounds really interesting–but the good kind of interesting. I like mole and am intrigued by the idea of it in rub form! Thank you for linking with See Ya in the Gumbo this week.

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