I have drooled while watching The Food Network’s Bobby Flay and others cook a piece of beef called a tri-tip. Now that I’ve cooked and eaten one, I know why I was drooling.
I’ve experimented with several cuts of beef roast over the years, either grilling or broiling them and often over- or under-cooking them and generally wasting a good piece of meat. I came pretty close to getting it right with a recipe I saw on The Food Network seven years ago. The chef dedicated her show to “man food” recipes — meat and potatoes.
Of course, I tinkered with her recipe for broiled eye-of-round roast. You wash off the 3-4 pound roast, and then rub it down with cooking oil before placing it in your wife’s favorite casserole dish. Don’t let her complaints bother you; you’re on a mission.
You can substitute tougher cuts of beef like London broil (aka, flank steak), but it’s a good idea to prep the meat with one of those 48-blade meat tenderizers. Either that, or sharpen your teeth, because it will be tough.
Generously apply your favorite dry rub, and wash and dice several green onions and spread them all over the roast. Place the roast in an oven set on broil. Cook for 10-12 minutes on one side, and then take it out and turn it over. Use tongs. Never poke a steak or roast with a fork.
Now cook this side for 10-12 minutes. Your roast will be rare to medium rare. If you like your meat over-cooked, allow it to stay under the broiler a little (or a lot) longer.
Remove the meat from the oven and onto a platter and let it rest. Turn your oven to 350 degrees and pour a bag of frozen shoestring fries in the casserole dish. Stir the still-frozen fries around in the mouth-watering meat juices, oil and now-crispy green onions. The dish will be hot enough to thaw the fries by the time the oven cools to 350 degrees. Place the fries in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.
Slice the roast across the grain in 3/8- to 1/2-inch slices and serve with fries. There are no other veggies, just meat and taters (and green onions). And sweet tea, of course.
Tri-tip is much easier to cook and twice as tasty. As with any grilling meat, wash off the usually 2 ½-pound triangular roast and allow it to warm to room temperature while you get the grill fired up. When the coals are glowing red hot, put the tri-tip on the grill.
I didn’t mention a dry rub because they tend to marinate the meat. I just want to season it like I grill a steak. Generously sprinkle Lawry’s seasoning salt, McCormick’s Worcestershire black pepper and chili powder on the sizzling meat as flames shoot up around it. (You don’t need all the hair on your hand, anyway.)
Turn it on its sides to get it fully covered. After two minutes, the meat will be seared enough on one side to turn it over. Repeat the seasoning process on this side. (You may want to switch hands so you can remove the hair on that one, too.)
After two more minutes, turn the meat over and drop the coals as low as necessary. Smoke the tri-tip at 225-250 degrees for 15 minutes on each side. Spread a pat of butter on each side before turning.
Your tri-tip is ready unless you like it “burnt and rurnt.” If so, don’t blame me if it’s tough.
Slice it across the grain in 1/2-inch slices. Ladle some of that au jus over each tender slice. Tri-tip is so much like steak, you may want a garden salad or grilled asparagus to go with it. Scalloped or lyonnaise potatoes also go well with tri-tip.
Enjoy. You can thank me later.