Santa Maria Tri Tip Roast

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With it being summer and all, that means it’s time to break out the grills and barbecue some meats. Now if you are like me, there is really nothing I look forward to more than some grilled or roasted huge chunks of meat. I’ve always wanted a smoker and the whole works, but alas if you are also like me and live in an apartment, that is probably not happening. Not only do I not have a smoker, but I don’t even have a bbq grill 😦 . Alas, I had to use my oven. But worry not! This recipe actually turned out great in the oven and still felt like a summer que!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb tri tip, trimmed, but still want a good layer of fat
  • 2 tbsp finely ground coffee
  • 1 ½ tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp granulated garlic
  • tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

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Directions

  • Mix all the spices and sugar in a bag or bowl
  • Sprinkle the rub all over the meat and massage it into the meat
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour
  • Remove from refrigerator an hour before cooking and let rest
  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • In a cast iron pan (or other oven proof pan) place a little oil over high heat
  • Sear the meat, fat side down, and then all sides (~3-4 min a side)
  • Place roast in the oven until internal temperature is 130º (~10 min per pound)
  • Pull roast out of the oven and let rest before serving

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Mini Beef Wellingtons

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Hi everyone. Today I bring to you beef wellingtons, kind of. You see, the idea of a beef wellington (filet wrapped in pastry dough) is basically all kinds of amazing. I mean what’s not to like? Meat and pastries. So I have always thought about making beef wellingtons because they are so good, but the problem I always run into is that I don’t like mushrooms….like at all. They are some of my least favorite foods and are a key ingredient in this dish. Also, I didn’t want to make big ones as a main dish. Not sure why, but I was feeling the appetizer route. That led me to this recipe, which still included mushrooms, but I decided to change those out. I replaced the mushrooms with grilled onions and they turned out amazing. Obviously if you are a traditionalist, or a mushroom lover, go for the original, but the onions as a substitute worked just as well in my opinion.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (can use dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 16oz package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 lb trimmed beef tenderloin, cut into 24 cubes (about 3/4 inch each)
  • 1/3 cup Boursin cheese (I found a Boursin cheese with herbs at the market)

Directions

  • In a skillet over medium heat, sauté onions (or mushrooms) with rosemary, salt and pepper until cooked
  • Roll puff pastry out and cut into 3 in. squares (mine ended up being more triangles due to the way the dough was shaped)
  • Place one beef cube in the middle of the pastry square and add a pinch of salt
  • Top each cube with some cheese and some onions (or mushrooms)
  • Brush the edges of the square with egg wash and fold the dough over the cube to seal it
  • After you’ve completed this with all of the cubes, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash (I found it easier to just dunk and roll them in the egg wash)
  • Bake for ~9 minutes at 450 degrees, until the pastry is golden brown
  • Let sit for ~5 minutes and serve!

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Beer Braised Short Rib

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So the slow cooker is a thing of genius when you think about it.  It’s what I always think of when I hear that guy’s phrase “set it and forget it” even though he wasn’t selling a slow cooker at all. It just seems to fit that line so much better. Because you can literally set it for hours, go to work, come back, and shabam…you can have dinner.  Now you want to make lunch, that’s a bit tougher.  But I doubt most people are using a slow-cooker for lunch.  Anywho, I decided to make a short rib because I get it a lot when I am out and don’t want to spend the dinero all the time on the steak.  It’s a tender piece of meat and I enjoy that melt in your mouth texture.  I got the recipe from Yahoo Food, which is what I do when I am bored at work. It came out well and it allowed me to go do other things in my day, which was greatly appreciated.  Overall, I am pretty happy with the dish.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless beef short ribs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut into sticks
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 oz stout beer
  • 1 qt beef stock
  • 1 sprig rosemary

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Directions:

  • Reduce the beef stock in a sauce pan to ~1cup
  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper then cover them in flour
  • Cook in a dutch over (I used a cast iron pan) over med-high heat until brown on all sides
  • Add the onions and carrots as a bed in the slow cooker
  • Add the short ribs on top and add any left over pan drippings
  • Cover the ribs with the garlic, butter, herbs, salt, and pepper
  • Add the beer and the beef stock
  • Cover and cook on high for 6 hours
  • Enjoy (I put them over whipped garlic mashed potatoes)

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Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Sauce

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We’ve been doing this blog thing for a few months now and I have kept up with it a lot better and more consistently than I ever thought. Who knew I’d actually enjoy it. It has made me branch out and try new things, take some risks, be more creative, and plate better. My mom also keeps updated with it, checking periodically. But, without fail, every time I talk to her, she always asks me when she is going to get a meal like that, or why she is the one cooking when we come back to visit. Which, actually, is a good point. That seems unfair, so when we went back home for Labor Day, my sister and I decided to whip up our parents a full 4-course Italian meal because my mom was specifically asking about the shrimp scampi that I made previously. So that ended up being the 2nd course, with the 1st being a salad. This steak was the 3rd and then my sister made a raspberry limoncello dessert, which I will post later. The recipe called for flat iron steak, but I used sirloin instead because why not. It is super simple and the sauce is pretty damn tasty.

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of sirloin steaks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups dry red wine

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Directions

  • Salt and pepper the steaks, drizzle with EVOO
  • Cook to your desired doneness and then let it rest, tented with foil
  • Slice the steaks against the grain
  • For the sauce, melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan on medium heat
  • Saute the onions till done, then add salt and cook for a few more minutes
  • Add the garlic and oregano and saute for another minute
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly
  • Mix in the wine, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces by half (says 10 minutes, but it took a lot longer for me)
  • Melt 4 tbsp butter (cut into chunks) into the sauce
  • Strain the sauce into a bowl, extracting as much liquid as possible
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour over the steak, or serve on the side and enjoy

 

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Overall the steak and the red wine sauce was really good. It was cooked just right and the sauce didn’t have too heavy of a wine flavor. It was a little shocking how much butter went into it, but it was delicious, so all was forgiven. My parents really enjoyed it too, which was the most important part.

Chili and Cast Iron Corn Bread

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We had the slow cooker out from making the hummus and decided to use it again to make chili. What goes well with chili? Cornbread of course! Corn bread made in a cast iron skillet to be exact. So we put everything in the crock pot before going to work and came home to an apartment filled with the smell of chili, and in no way was that disappointing. Then we whipped up the cornbread and ate a terribly unhealthy, but terribly delicious meal. Got the recipe for the cornbread from here.

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Ingredients for chili (semi made up from a hodgepodge of other recipes Ive seen in the past)

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3 cans of stewed/diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions for serving

Directions

  • In a large pan on medium heat, cook the onions and season with salt until soft
  • Add the garlic and chili powder and stir for a minute
  • Add the beef and cook until brown
  • Drain the majority to almost all of the oil and transfer to a slow cooker
  • Cook the chili in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours

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Ingredients for corn bread

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

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Directions for corn bread

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • put 2 tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet and set aside, melt the other 6 tbsp of butter in a small dish
  • Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  • Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy, then mix in the buttermilk
  • Pour egg mix into the flour/cornmeal mix and stir until dry streaks are incorporated (easier if you use a rubber spatula), but careful not to overmix
  • Fold in the melted butter and let stand for 5 minutes
  • When the oven is hot, place the skillet with the 2 tbsp butter in for 5 minutes
  • Remove the pan and coat the bottom of the pan with the melted butter
  • Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden (~15 minutes)
  • After removing the pan from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes
  • Cut and enjoy

This meal was pretty damn good. It was hearty and nostalgic, but on the downside it lacked any form of real vegetables whatsoever. The chili was pretty oily in the cooker, so before we mixed and served it, I spooned out most of the oil that had risen to the top. I also added a little bit of cornstarch to the chili to thicken it up. The cornbread turned out perfectly, but next time we might add some cheddar cheese to the mix, and maybe some jalapeños too.

Grilled Skirt Steak

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So tonight we had a friend over and I decided to grill a skirt steak (or 2). I topped it with a chimichurri sauce and paired it with broccolini and fried potatoes. Being an apartment with no balcony, I only have an electric grill that I use indoors. I still get a char on the meat, but not as good of a one as if I had a real grill, which I had to dump when I moved here 😦

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Steak:

  • Skirt Steak (I used about 3lbs, cut into smaller sections to fit on my grill)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup of Teriyaki Marinade (Bought from local market)
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Generously salt and pepper the steak. Then marinate in the garlic, teriyaki sauce, and soy sauce for about an hour.  Grill to desired temperature.

Chimichurri Sauce (recipe from here)

  • 1 cup parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsps oregano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wine vingear
  • 1 tsp sea salt (I used kosher b/c thats all I have)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (I added a little more)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I used less since the people I ate with don’t do spicy well)

Pulse the parsley in food processor.  Then add the garlic and oregano and pulse some more.  Transfer this to a small bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients. This ended up making a lot more sauce than I needed and I probably could have done with 1/2 of everything, but alas I will have to remember that for next time.

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That completed the steak. For the potatoes, I just pan fried them with red and yellow bell peppers and onions, and seasoned with salt and pepper. The potatoes were good and the peppers added a nice splash of color. Overall, I think the meal turned out pretty well and it was a hearty one at that. But of course we saved just enough room for dessert to finish the meal.

Prime Rib

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So I was at the market today and bone-in prime rib roasts were on sale. Now I love prime rib and haven’t had it in about five months, so I figured what the hell and I bought it. The one I bought was just under 5lbs, so I decided to invite my cousin and his wife to dinner as well. Family, wine, and prime rib made for a fun night.

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The Prime Rib

  • Score the fat of the prime rib
  • Season fairly generously with salt and pepper (I used kosher salt)
  • Season with some dried thyme
  • Stick cloves of garlic into the scores
  • Let the hunk of meat sit for a few hours to overnight (if overnight, tent it with foil so it doesn’t dry out)
  • Bake in a roasting pan at high heat (450-500 degrees) for 20 minutes, and then turn it down to 325 degrees for about another hour
  • Pull it out and let the meat rest

Au Jus

  • With the meat resting on your cutting board you can use the fat and crisp left overs to make au jus
  • Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat
  • Add 1-2 cups of red wine and let it reduce, scraping the pan clean with a wooden spatula
  • Add a couple cups of beef broth
  • Add some thyme and bring to a simmer
  • Serve with the Prime Rib

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So we had the prime rib and served it with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables (squash, carrots, and zucchini). The roasted veggies were just cut, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and baked alongside the prime rib at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. Prime rib doesn’t have to just be for special occasions, when it’s this easy to make.  Enjoy!