During the school soccer season, I coach, so in addition to the girls’ club practice schedules, there’s that. From 3-8pm every day, all bets are off and I’m in the car, on the pitch, or managing issues associated with sports that involve the kicking or hitting of a ball. But every now and then, the stars align, the heavens open up, and I find myself staring at an hour on a random Thursday afternoon with no commitments on the board. On the miracle spectrum, it’s not Lourdes or the loaves and fishes – more like the jeans I got for Christmas that actually fit, but still it’s there and I’m grateful. What do I do with this hour? That varies and I won’t bore you with the domestic, soul-killing tasks I sometimes take on. Occasionally, I use the time to stand in the kitchen cooking rather than pulling together the crock pot meal I throw on the table most nights. And when I say ‘throw’, I’m serious.
I bought a tri-tip steak the other day on a whim because sometimes I lose my mind and live dangerously. And when I say ‘dangerously’, it’s even crazier than throwing food at the girls come dinnertime. I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve cooked tri-tip was for my machaca, but when I put it in the grocery cart the other day, I also grabbed Brussels sprouts and some potato concoction that Trader Joe’s invented to make my family love me more. This was going to be a fork and knife dinner and include, in the words of my cousin Bill, a white thing, a brown thing, and a green thing. Unlike my Aunt Lorrie, I wouldn’t wait until the smoke alarm went off before taking everything out of the oven.
It’s clear to me that with the right cut of meat, you can simply shake Kosher salt and pepper over the top and grill it, but I was thinking of something more thoughtful. I marinated the tri-tip in a basic sauce that I found on allrecipes.com because it looked similar to one I would have created in my head anyway:
¼ c. olive oil
¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
¼ c. Worcestershire
2 t. Dijon mustard
2 t. minced garlic
salt and pepper
Whisk together all of the ingredients. Using a gallon size zip-lock bag, place your steak inside and pour the marinade over. Let the air out of the bag and gather/twist it so the marinade surrounds the steak. You can use a rubber band to secure it, or just tuck the twisted part underneath. Put it in a roasting pan so if it leaks, there won’t be a mess. I marinated mine for 6 hours – more is even better.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees. (Prepare my Brussels sprouts recipe so they’re ready for the oven when the steak is ready to roast.)
While the oven is getting hot, heat a large skillet on medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot, brown the steak on both sides for 2 minutes. Transfer to a rack in a roasting pan and place in the oven for an additional 25-30 minutes. (Brussels sprouts should come out at the same time.) Remove and tent with foil. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. This will give you medium-rare in the middle, medium-well at the end. Slice with a sharp knife. Serve with potatoes on the side – you decide which kind. I made TJ’s Garlic Potatoes with Parmesan Sauce.
It was the perfect meal before the Men’s Super Combined final. Are you watching the Olympics? I never want them held again in a place where people can sun bathe. That’s just wrong.