This article link is for all of my militant Vegan readers.
This article link is for all of my militant Vegan readers.
Makes about four healthy servings.
My meals since Friday evening have been soup, cereal, soup, soup, toast/banana, soup, and soup. The jeans are getting a little loose. I cannot remember a weekend of such healthy eating ever. Yes, The Boss is still sick. Friday I made chicken soup. Last night I made Vegetarian Vegetable Soup. Today I decided upon Beef Vegetable for a change in pace.
A high quality beef vegetable soup is the end result of the right cut of beef and some high quality broth. This recipe is semi-organic because most of the ingredients were organic but some were not. The beef broth was hand selected store bought prepared organic broth. I used top blade which IMO makes a big difference due to the cut and marbling.
I remembered the mushrooms. Use vegetables you have on hand. I also decided to leave out peas because peas are not one of my favorite vegetables. The corn adds a touch of sweetness. Note the roast is braised whole for several hours, cooled, cubed and returned to the soup. The beef stays tender this way. You won’t end up with tiny hockey pucks.
A salad on the side and crusty bread would make this a meal.
So would a three pound top blade roast. But with that much beef you might as well make Pot Roast.
The gang was coming over for dinner. I wanted something simple and tasty. The weather was perfect. I had just purchased a full tank of propane. It was time to grill again. For decades our go to marinade has been the Iki Marinade.
My next thought was chicken. But the local store was selling tri tip steaks for $4 a pound. So I bought a package. If you’re familiar with this particular cut you know you typically get irregular pieces of steak in any given package. Butchers are smart. They will flip a piece of meat so that the side facing the buyer looks awesome. You buy, take the package home, and open only to discover one of the pieces is really, really small and someone will get the pipsqueak. When you see a picture of this steak you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Irregular shaped steaks are a pain in the ass to cook. So I cut each steak in half and pounded the hell out of them until they were about a half inch thick. The flattening helps tenderize the meat and grill more evenly than when left whole.
My memories of beef stew growing up was that it came out of a can and tasted pretty bad. My mother was not a very good cook. She was however very good at opening cans. Consequently, I never really cared much for beef stew.
This weekend we had friends over for dinner. At first, we were thinking pizza. No, we just did that a couple of weeks ago with this crew. So I decided to cook but wanted to keep it simple. I also wanted to clean out the freezer a bit since winter is coming and there might be some stuff in there that needs to get cooked. I went rummaging. I found tri-tip steaks.
“Am I going to grill these things before next summer?”
Probably not. Stew. Problem solved.
This cut makes a wonderful stew. The packages of stew meat you find in the store consist of cubes from different cuts. Some are very lean which makes for a healthier dish, but less flavor. A good tri-tip is well marbled and the extra fat makes this stew quite tasty. You’ll note no potatoes in this stew. I served the stew over plain rice. Add potatoes if you wish. We had homemade cornbread and salad on the side. A crusty bread works too. Readers with a keen eye will notice this recipe is similar to Mike’s Pot Roast. You caught me.
As much as I love making this stew I have a confession to make. I’ve been making beef stew with top blade steak. I’m not going to change the name of this stew. But I should. Good tri-tip has been hard to find at the stores but one store always seems to have top blade steaks in their meat case. Well marbled too.
If you decide to use top blade keep the steaks whole and brown on both sides. The rest of the instructions are the same. Prior to serving pull the steaks apart with two forks into bite sized chunks. This particular cut will make the most tender beef stew you ever had.
A lot better than canned too.
Tri-Tip Beef Stew
For Father’s Day I had to fire up the grill but I didn’t want to repeat the Iki Marinade which we use more than frequently. I got online and started searching “Lime Marinade”. Use this search term if you want to get instantly overwhelmed by the number and variety of lime juice based marinades. So I gave up and made my own. I’m sure if you search far and wide enough I’ve probably “stolen” most, if not all, of the ingredient list from some other food blogger trying to make a living stealing recipes from other food websites, changing one ingredient, and calling it an original. So if you feel this marinade is your property I apologize up front. Any resemblance to your recipe is a pure coincidence.
I marinated some petite sirloins and boneless chicken thighs. I think this marinade works better with chicken.
The propane tank ran dry before I finished cooking the meats.
If you have a propane gas grill, keep a stove top grill or griddle around. You can always finish the grilling indoors which is what I had to do. Try fresh cilantro. I used dry because I didn’t have any fresh on hand. If you like your marinade a little sweeter, add another tablespoon of brown sugar.
Confused by beef? Don’t feel bad. I get confused constantly in the meat aisle. For example, I came across a Top Blade Roast this past week and immediately got confused. Top Blade Roast? Not a clue what it was. But the roast was on sale so I bought it. Now what do I do with it? After some determined internet research I learned Top Blade is Chuck.
During the course of my research I stumbled upon a great website run by a guy named Meathead.
Check it out and learn what a Denver Steak is.
The good news is the tri tip steak I made a while ago was deemed very good.
The bad news is I didn’t get to have any. The steaks were smaller than I thought so I didn’t get a piece. Same as when I was growing up, Dad would serve dinner family style and let everyone else pick their protein first. Dad got the pieces everyone else didn’t want. The last time I grilled tri tip steaks I got chicken.
I had to buy more. This time I bought the entire roast and carved it into steaks myself. At roughly a pound and a half I saved $1.50.
The triangle pieces are small and the first cut had a pretty thick cap of fat making the “steak” even smaller. I now understand why butchers turned this muscle into stew meat.
Tonight I am marinating the steaks in a lemon soy bath. We’ll see how they turn out.
Update 6:00 PM
The steaks turned out great. I froze the strip steak like pieces and grilled the smaller chunks. I managed to cook the meat until it was medium and it wasn’t tough or chewy. Don’t cook tri tip past medium or you will end up with chewy odd shaped hockey pucks. The marinade turned out decent for a throw together bath.
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