22 July 2009

Tri-tipping Point

Tri-tip steak is one of the least-appreciated, most delicious hunks of cow available for general consumption. Cut from the bottom of a sirloin, the tri-tip is an affordable, tasty addition to your usual steak lineup.

I had two of the long, skinny steaks in the freezer awaiting my return to the city, so I defrosted them yesterday and cooked them the French way - salt and pepper, oil, and a cast iron pan. I also made a spicy herbed butter to melt over them, and then roasted some asparagus with a breadcrumb-parmesan crust and served with an easy heirloom tomato salad. All recipes below. No photos - I forgot to take some as I was too excited - my boyfriend just returned from being away for 2 1/2 weeks so last night was a celebratory supper, too. Nothing says "welcome home!" like a good tri-tip and some asparagus.

Spicy, Herby Butter
1/2 cup of good salted butter
1/4 cup Italian parsley
5 chives
1 tbs chili-garlic sauce (the jar with the rooster on it was what I used)
1 tsp lemon juice - just squeeze a lemon quarter and you'll ge the right amount

Stick the parsley, chives, chili-garlic sauce, and lemon juice into a blender and grind as well as you can.
Melt the butter on the stove. Stick it in the freezer for like 3 minutes to let it cool down a bit. Then remove from the freezer and mix the spicy-herby mixture into it until it's all combined really well. Then stick all of it back into the freezer for another few minutes. Take out and whisk again. It should be getting more solid now. You can pour it into ice cube trays or whatever you find easiest - plastic wrap works okay too, as you can make like a little plastic wrap cup to cover your hand and pour the butter into it, then roll it into a log and wrap it up tight. Refrigerate until you're ready to use it.

Roasted Asparagus with Heirloom Tomato Salad
preheat oven to 400 degrees
20 stalks asparagus
2-3 tbs of breadcrumbs
1 tbs grated parmesan cheese
1 tbs spicy-herby butter (yeah, the stuff you just made)
3-4 heirloom tomatoes
1 small shallot or 1/2 shallot, chopped really small
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs red wine vinegar

Put washed asparagus into casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Cut spicy-herby butter into hunks and put on top of asparagus. Put into oven for 10-15 minutes.

Combine tomatoes, shallots, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper in a bowl and let it sit and mingle.

Remove asparagus from oven. Top with tomato salad.

Tri-tip Steak
however much steak you need/want
sea or kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
vegetable oil

Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat up your trusty cast iron pan on medium heat. Add vegetable oil and heat. Carefully lay steak on the cast iron pan. Cook roughly 2-3 minutes each side - tri-tip has is kind of rectangular so it's pretty easy to flip. Once you've done that, put the pan with the meat into the 400 degree oven and cook for a further 5-6 minutes for mediumish (more toward medium-rare) meat.

Remove from heat. Top with 1 tsp of the spicy-herby butter and serve. Butter will melt over the meat.

It's a really good, easy summer supper. Use as many local ingredients as you can - Ontario summers are fantastic for produce.

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