Ham Steak with Red-Eye Gravy
Cooking a slab of salty ham in strong coffee may sound odd. Prepare to become a fan.
Why This Recipe Works
When we took this southern classic for a spin here in the test kitchen, we found that most gravy made from coffee was inedible—when coffee boils, it becomes extremely bitter. To get the flavor without the bitterness, we use instant espresso powder. Maple syrup balances the coffee, and sautéed onion adds depth to the gravy, while finishing it with butter gives a silky texture. For the ham, we went with bone-in steaks, but found them so lean that they needed a boost; bacon did the trick, adding smoky, porky flavor and rendering enough flavorful fat to brown the ham steaks in.