The making of Dos Gauchos, and spices in general, is a topic of much conversation. Do a web search on “how to make spice rubs” and you’ll likely find suggestions for combining spices to make your favorite foods more flavorful. The recipes and tutorials largely call for spices to be thrown together in a bowl; maybe a little chopping of herbs, but that’s about it. More attention is often given to how to apply the mixture to your meat or poultry than in the creation of the blend itself.
The attention to the creation process is precisely what sets Madison Park Foods’ dry spice rubs apart from commercial spice rubs, gourmet specialty rubs, and even the rubs you might make in your own kitchen. Whether sourcing individual spices, painstakingly combining ingredients, or overseeing packaging, our co-founder (and my husband!), Stan Gorski, is passionate about perfection.
A Spice Rub Gets Its Start
I always know when Stan is contemplating a new spice rub. He begins with the end goal: Beer Can Chicken, or Argentina Steak Rub, or Poultry Rub. His inspiration comes from anything and anywhere; a friend, a book or article he read, a restaurant at which he ate 20 years ago, a favorite dish of a fraternity brother (shout out goes to Al Meismer here for the Beer Can Chicken). But when his concept has percolated enough in his own brain, he pulls out a laptop and begins to create a spreadsheet. What comes next is beyond my comprehension: He begins writing down different spices (granulation, cut, origin) and corresponding amounts or percentages. At this point, he has not tasted anything, hasn’t combined anything except in his head. Then he modifies it, again and again and again.
The cowboy is born
And this is how it was with the making of Dos Gauchos, the Argentina Steak Rub and Chimichurri rojo* mix, Stan worked in Argentina in 1996 and has wanted to move there ever since: Eating big steaks at midnight with Luigi Bosca wine; the tango in the square (not performed by him, thank goodness) what could be better? So, this winter he decided it was time to bring Argentina to New Jersey.
After days of research and excel spreadsheets, Stan began to order ingredients he wanted to try in the new rub. Box after box showed up he could begin his experimentation. He play around with various combinations of ingredients, adding a little of this and a little of that, mixing dozens of different batches of rubs. Over the next several weeks, Stan created countless versions of the Dos Gauchos in search for the Holy Grail. We ate a lot of steak, burgers, pork – anything he thought might work with the rub, taste-testing each one so that Stan could get the feedback he needed to refine his recipe.