Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Grilled Tri-Tip Skewers with Chimichurri

California is credited with originally marketing the cut of beef known as tri-tip—also called triangle roast or bottom sirloin roast. (In California, you may call it a Santa Maria steak.) No matter the name, this typically two-inch-thick, boneless beef roast (one-and-a-half to two pounds total) is loaded with rich, beefy flavor and can be grilled whole or cut into pieces for kebabs, which is what I went with for this recipe.

Tri-Tip Roast
Like most tasty cuts of beef, the tri-tip can go it alone on the grill with just a little salt and pepper. But then there are times when a flavor-enhancing dry rub sounds like an inviting boost for the beef. The star of this rub is ground coffee. A tablespoon combined with a little chile powder and black pepper add up to a rich, savory marinade that penetrates the meat and lasts all the way to the table. 

The finisher here is chimichurri—that garlicky, vinegary, olive oil and parsley-based sauce found on just about any table in Argentina. Simply mix up the ingredients in a food processor and serve it with the beef skewers for dipping or drizzling.

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp ground coffee
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 1-1/2-lb tri-tip roast, cut into 16-18 even chunks
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • olive oil, for rubbing the grill grate
Tri-Tip Pieces Ready to Marinate
  1. Combine the coffee, chile powder, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small bow. Rub the coffee mixture all over the tri-tip chunks. Place in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
Coffee Mixture 
Beef Rubbed with Marinade
  1. Meanwhile, combine the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and oregano in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the extra virgin olive oil until incorporated. Scrape into a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. (Divide into serving bowls, if desired.)
Basil Mixture Ready to Grind
After Grinding
Oil Added
  1. Light a grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Thread 4 to 5 pieces of marinated beef onto each of 4 skewers (soaked in water 30 minutes, if wood). Sprinkle the beef with salt.
  3. Grill the skewers until lightly charred in spots and the beef is medium doneness, 8-9 minutes (or to desired degree of doneness).
Skewers Ready to Grill
Beginning to Grill
Grilled Skewers
Serve the skewers with chimichurri alongside.

Grilled Tri-Tip Skewers with Chimichurri

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