Prairie Dust Spice Mix

Thursday 24 February 2022


Cooked Steak  

One thing I really enjoy every now and then is a really good steak.  I have to admit that the beef which is available in the UK is superior to most of the beef I have ever eaten.  I never had a bad steak over here.

I wish I could say the same here.  Other than the whole beef tenderloin that my sister and I bought last year and cut into steaks, almost every steak I have purchased for eating has been tough and a huge disappointment.

The other day I managed to get my hands on a bone in rib steak however and I purchased it hoping that  I would finally be able to enjoy a good steak.   I finally lucked in.

Prairie Dust Spice Mix 

Because it was so expensive (almost $8 for one steak) I wanted to cook it in the best way possible and to flavor it simply. 

I love steak rubs. My friend Lura used to send me a lovely one when I lived in the UK that they would buy on this dude ranch in Montana.  It was fabulous.

Prairie Dust Spice Mix 

I discovered this Prairie Dust Spice Mix, attributed to the Longhorn Steakhouse on Pinterest.   Its a copycat recipe and was just a photograph of a list.

I decided to try it out for several reasons. One there was no sugar in it. A lot of spice rubs contain sugar.  Two, it didn't seem overly spicy. I really wanted to taste my steak!!

Cooked Steak 

Now, I have never been to a Longhorn Steakhouse so I cannot attest to it's authenticity.   What I can tell you though is that my steak tasted wonderful after using it.  Not too spicy.  The flavors did not overwhelm the natural flavor of the meat, instead enhancing it.  I gave it two thumbs up.

One thing I really wanted to make sure when cooking my steak is that I cooked it properly.  I have shared on here before how to cook steak perfectly. I thought it wouldn't hurt to repeat myself on that 

 A lot of people are quite intimidated when it comes to cooking steak. Cooking a steak to perfection is not really all that hard . . . as long as you follow a few rules. 

Cooked Steak 

It goes without saying that, if you want the perfect steak, you have to first start out with the perfect cut of meat. 

 For panfrying, broiling or grilling, I wouldn't recommend anything less than a good quality sirloin, rib eye or filet steak. Steak that has been properly aged on the bone will give you the best flavour. 

 I also like to start with meat that is at room temperature, so take your steaks out of the fridge at least half an hour before cooking or longer if possible. Some cooks eschew seasoning the meat prior to cooking. 

I am a firm believer, however, in salting the meat prior to cooking, as the heat helps to seal in the salt, allowing it to penetrate and really flavour the surface of the meat. That old idea about the salt drawing out the moisture and meat juices, is just hoaky to me. 

 If pan frying, which is my preferred method, you want to use a really heavy skillet, heated to a hot temperature. Brush your seasoned meat with some butter, and then place it in the hot pan. 

Cooked Steak 

Cook for several minutes to sear the first side, and then flip over and finish searing it on the second side. 

 Don't turn your steak any more than once. Turning it over and over, is what causes the meat juices to release and your steak ends up stewing instead of frying.   

Finger test for Steak 

I prefer my steaks to be medium rare. This finger test is a simple way to judge the doneness of a piece of meat. The further your thumb has to move across your hand, the more resilient the ball of the muscle becomes.

The amount of resistance felt by your opposing finger when compared against the same finger pressed onto your meat is an excellent gauge in guessing as to how done your meat is. 

Cooked Steak 

First finger stage: for blue meat and lightly cooked fish. 
 Touch your thumb to it's opposing first finger and press the ball of your thumb with the tip of a finger of the other hand, the ball will offer no resistance. The surface should be seared in steak, and firm, and the beads of meat juice not yet risen to the surface. The meat is rare to almost blue when cut with a mild flavour. 

  Second finger stage: for rare meat. 
 Touch your second finger to your thumb and press the ball of your thumb. The ball will feel spongy. The meat should be well browned and spongy when pressed in the centre. It should be firm at the sides and any beads of juice on the surface should be deep pink. The meat when cut is read, juicy and aromatic. 

Cooked Steak 

 Third finger stage: For medium cooked meat, game or duck, or well done fish. 
 Touch your third finger to your thumb and press the ball of your thumb. The ball will feel resilient. The surface should be crusty brown and the meat should resist when the centre is pressed. Firm at the side, the juices on the surface should be pink, and when cut the meat is juicy, deep pink and well flavoured. 

  Fourth finger stage: For well done meat, or poultry. 
 Touch your fourth finger to your thumb and press the ball of your thumb. The ball will feel firm. The surface of the meat will be crusty brown and dry and the meat will feel quite firm when touched in the centre. Beads of juice on the surface of the meat will be clear and when cut no pink juices will be visible. 

Cooked Steak

My steak actually came out a bit more done than I usually like it to be on this day, but that is because I got distracted by something.  So another tip I would give you is to not walk away from it when its cooking.  It doesn't take long to go from perfect to more done than you would like.

This was still slightly pink, which was okay but I do like my steak a bit more rare than that.  Also do bear in mind that it will continue to cook as it rests, so it is better to err on the side of caution than the other way. You can always  cook something a bit more or longer if it needs it.

The worst steak I ever had in my life was at a chain called The Buffalo Grill in France.   Supposedly they knew steak.  I have my doubts. I ordered medium rare and my husband and I were both ill the next day. At the risk of offending someone,  I have often wondered if it was really steak or was it horse.  They eat a lot of horse in France.  I will never know for sure.

Prairie Dust Spice Mix

Prairie Dust Spice Mix

Yield: Makes 7 teaspoons
Author: Marie Rayner
Supposedly this is a copycat recipe from the Longhorn Steakhouse. Its nice and spicy, but not overly so.


  • 1 TBS fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (not salt)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (not salt)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander


  1. Measure everything into a bowl and give it a good mix. Transfer to a clean and empty spice shaker.
  2. Store in a dark cool place, tightly covered, for up to six months.
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1 comment

  1. This looks like an excellent spice mix. I don't usually cook the steaks -- I'm not terribly good at judging them. But Rick is great on the grill. I'm going to make a batch of this for him!


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