The BEST, Easiest , Juiciest Tri-Tip with Oodles of Au Jus

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This recipe for tri-tip is so lip-smacking good, that our pastor Hugh Halter once asked me to do a little cooking demo of it before a church service. I have no idea how he tied this into the sermon, but if Hugh is anything, he is creative.

Last week I made it again for our pastor and his wife and some friends.  As we sat on the back porch enjoying the meal, Hugh said, “I just don’t know how you make a piece of beef this juicy and tender!”  I reminded him that I had  once done a cooking demo on how to do it, in front of the entire church.   Another attribute of our beloved pastor is that he has a memory like Swiss Cheese and had totally forgotten all about it.

Another one of the men at the table that day, leaned back, patted his stomach and said, “Becky this tri tip has ruined me.  My father in law takes us out to the best steakhouse in town about once a year, and no steak I’ve had there is as good as this roast.”

Seriously, this tri-tip recipe will change your life.  Your IQ will raise, you’ll be more beautiful, your charm quota will hit an all time high.  At least in the eyes of the people to whom you serve this meal. They will look at you as if you are the Cooking Angel.

The best part: it will be the easiest roast you’ll ever make.  I typically pop this roast in the oven before church – a la our mothers and grandmothers of the past – and 3 hours later, we walk into a home filled with a heavenly fragrance, lunch practically done.

I serve this roast alongside mashed potatoes and a salad the first day.  But the second day is my favorite, because the  I take the thinly sliced marinated leftovers and put them atop thick slices of buttery garlic toast, then top this with grilled onions and peppers, and finally the au jus.  Au man, it is amazing.

I’ll first give the recipe for the Tri Tip, followed by the recipe for the Tri Tip Dip Sandwiches.   Prepare to amaze yourself.

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Tri Tip Dip Open-Faced Sandwich (Before pouring on au jus)

Becky’s Tri Tip

Serves 8-10

Heat oven to 325 degrees

Ingredients:

Two tri-tips (if you go to Sam’s Club, ours sells them two to a package)

Large Reynolds Cooking Bag

2/3 c. teriyaki sauce

1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup

3 ½ c. water

Directions: 

Take a large cooking bag and holding it upright like you would a grocery bag, fill it with teriyaki sauce, onion soup mix and warm water.  Carefully squish it around.  Then, put both tri tips in the bag (you may want to call for some help on this),  tie the bag with the twist tie that comes in the package.  Then carefully lay the tri tips into a large rectangle pan. I do not poke holes in the  cooking bag, and this seems to keep the roast juicier.

Two tri-tips in cooking bag with marinade, tied up and ready for roasting

Thus far, I’ve not blown up a bag and I’ve probably made this recipe 30 times.  (I use my biggest Pyrex.)  Pop in the oven at 325 and bake for 3 to 3. 5 hours.

When the tri-tip is done, carefully cut a slit in the bag and pour the juices into your biggest, deepest skillet.  Slice the roast (I use an electric knife) across the grain.  Then put the slices into the au jus in the skillet and simmer for a few minutes to infuse the roast with juices. Test to see if it needs additional salt and pepper.

Delicious served alongside or atop mashed potatoes.

Becky’s Tri Tip Dips & “Pouring on of Au Jus”

Tri Tip Dip Open-Faced Sandwiches

Serves 2

4 slices of French bread

1 T. olive oil

1 T. butter

1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half

1 onion, sliced thin

1 large red or yellow pepper slice

Leftover Tri-Tip, sliced and Au Jus

Directions: 

Put 4 slices of French bread on a cookie sheet and spread with butter, then sprinkle with olive oil. Broil until golden brown and then rub each slice with the cut end of a piece of garlic.

Toasted garlic bread

Saute onions and peppers until soft.   Put two pieces of garlic bread on a plate, followed by several slices of warmed tri-tip, and generous portion of onion and peppers.   Serve warm au jus in a small bowl on plate.    Just before eating pour au jus over all and eat open-face style with knife and fork.


Rustic Iron Skillet Pot Pie

Homestyle Iron Skillet Pot Pie

My daughter is usually somewhat appalled at the disorganization in my refrigerator, along with the occasional discovery of leftovers-turned-science experiments lurking in its dark recesses.

On her last visit to Denver, her husband Jared was hungry and I told him, “Just look in the fridge and see what looks good to you. You never know what you might find.”  To which Rachel immediately deadpanned, “Or what might jump out at you.”

So before I accidentally create new life forms from my leftovers,  I really do try to use them up in more timely fashion these days. There are certain recipes I  go-to when I need to use up the food I have on hand at the end of the week. This easy version of pot pie is one of the most successful and  requested ones.

It is a little slice of flaky, creamy, hot home-style goodness. I don’t know why pot pie tastes so much better in an iron skillet than in a pie pan, but it does. And you’ll be amazed how easy it is, how fast it cooks up and comes together. (However, if you don’t have an iron skillet,  it is still pretty darn amazing in a deep dish pie pan.)

Becky’s
Rustic Iron Skillet Pot Pie

Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients

1 pie crust, your favorite recipe, or refrigerated version or vegan version. (Click link for a great flaky vegan recipe!)

1/4 c. flour

2 T. olive oil

2 T. butter or Earth Balance (vegan)

1 1/2 c. chicken, veggie, or  beef broth

2 potatoes, peeled and  diced

4 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1/4 c. teriyaki sauce

1/2 t. grated garlic

1/2 c. frozen corn

1/2 c. frozen peas

Any other bits of leftover cooked veggies you have on hand. (I had about a 1/2 c cooked mushrooms to toss into the mix tonight, along with some leftover sauteed onions & peppers.)

Leftover diced cooked meat: chicken or beef, or any combination to make 1 1/2 to 2 cups, depending on how much you like and how much room is left in the skillet! (I diced a large cooked chicken breast and a cup of diced leftover roast. I often use leftover Rotisserie chicken meat for this dish.)

For Vegans: Use 1 can drained kidney beans and 1 can drained butter beans in place of meat. The kidney beans add a nice firmness and color and the butter beans are big and creamy and well, buttery. The combination makes a very tasty veggie pot pie.  If you have a favorite vegan meat substitute, this could also be used.

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat to 400 degrees.

Cook diced potatoes and carrots in about two cups water with dash of salt, turning  burner to high to get a boil going, then down to medium heat to let them simmer.

While potatoes and carrots are cooking, mix 1/4 c. flour with 2 T. oil and 2 T. butter (Earth Balance for Vegans) in bottom of  10 inch iron skillet. Cook and stir constantly on medium heat until  a paste forms (happens quickly), and while stirring with one hand (use a whisk),  pour 2 1/2. cups veggie, beef or chicken broth slowly into skillet to make thickened gravy. (If you are new to gravy-making it helps to have a partner do the slow pouring of broth while you whisk.)

 

To the simmering gravy add:

2 T. teriyaki sauce

1/2 t. grated garlic

1/2 c. frozen corn

1/2 c. frozen peas

Any other leftover veggies you have on hand. (I had about a 1/2 c cooked mushrooms to toss in to the mix tonight, along with some leftover sauteed onions & peppers.)

To this add the drained, cooked carrots and potatoes. Gravy should be pretty thick and creamy (about consistency of heavy cream);  adjust to desired thickness by simmering more to thicken, or adding a little more broth to thin. (You can add a splash of half-in-half or cream if you want a more creamy gravy.)

At this point, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Remove from burner.

Place uncooked pie crust over the top of the hot gravy-veggie mixture and carefully (that skillet is hot!) tuck the edges of the pie crust just inside the cast iron pan as pictured.  Cut decorative slits in pie crust with a sharp knife  to allow steam to escape.

Transfer skillet (using potholders) to 400 degree oven  for 20 minutes or until crust is flaky and golden.

Serve pot pie at the table in the skillet, with big spoon to let each person dip out what they want. (Be sure to wrap a tea towel around handle of iron skillet so nobody burns themselves touching it.)   Best served and eaten in bowls to catch every drop of goodness.  Serve with a simple side of sliced fresh fruit and you’ve got dinner!

Variations: Some people prefer more “crust” with their pot pie. I love pie crust, too, but too often the bottom of pot pies can be soggy. So I will simply cook an extra round of pie dough, flat, on a cookie sheet,  break it up in about 2 inch pieces, and serve in a bowl at the table, allowing “pie crust” lovers to add more crispy crusts to their bowl if desired. No soggy bottoms!


Jalapeno Jelly & Gorgonzola Burgers

Jalapeno Jelly Gorgonzola Burgers

I am married to a man who appreciates a good meal like you wouldn’t believe.  He enjoys the gourmet fare I occasionally serve, but one of his favorite suppers is a simple hamburger patty, a side of corn and a tossed salad.  I served this meal to him not long ago, on a day when he must have been really hungry because as I handed Greg his plate, he looked up gratefully and said, “You saved my life!”

“Really?” I asked.  “Just by cooking a hamburger patty?”

“Yes. Absolutely.”

Wow, I had no idea I welded that much power with a quarter pound of ground round.

Tonight I decided to jazz up his patty a bit, by mixing the meat with mustard, Worcestershire and jalapeno jelly, then stuffing it with Gorgonzola cheese and topping it with a bit more jelly and chopped jalapenos.

He loved it.   I loved it.  Lots of happy flavors did a salsa in my mouth.

I now share it with you,  as my small part in helping to save lives.

Jalapeno Jelly Gorgonzola Burgers

Becky’s Jalapeno Jelly Gorgonzola Burgers

Ingredients

Makes 4 juicy patties, serves 2 – 4 people, depending on how hungry they are!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

* 1/4 c.  jalapeno jelly, divided (you’ll use some for topping)

1 T. mustard (I prefer stone ground, but use what ever kind you like)

1 large clove garlic, grated

1 t. Worcestershire sauce

1 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

4 one inch cubes of Gorgonzola or blue cheese  (you can use any cheese you prefer)

4 t. chopped pickled jalapenos (you may also use fresh jalapenos, too, just expect  an extra kick of heat)

* Alternate substitute for Jalapeno Jelly: Mix 3 T. of your favorite jelly with 1 T. oickled jalapeno juice, Tabasco or buffalo sauce

Directions:

In a large bowl, use clean hands to mix hamburger meat with 2 T. of the  jalapeno jelly (or substitute), and the next 4 ingredients. Divide into 8 equal size hamburger patties, making them a bit on the thin side. Crumble each 1 inch cube of cheese in the middle of 4 hamburger patties as shown in the picture below.

Top the cheese covered patties with the remaining 4 patties and press to seal the edges.

Place four patties in a hot skillet (may use a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking) and brown until nice  caramelization takes place on one side.  Flip and turn stove temp down to medium,  cook about a minute to let the other side get good and brown as well. Then lower temp to low, cover and cook until burgers are cooked all the way through,  to your liking.

Remove from skillet to plate lined with paper towel to let excess fat drain off.  Spread a teaspoon of jalapeno jelly over each burger before serving, then garnish each patty with about a teaspoon of chopped jalapeno.

Wonderful with corn and a green salad made with tomatoes and avocados.   Or make into gourmet hamburgers with a dollop of guacamole between the burgers and buns.

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The Title: Jalapeno Jelly Gorgonzola Burgers
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