grilling classics: grilled tri-tip with red wine barbecue sauce and caramelized onions

Really?  I've never posted one of the best recipes for omnivores during grilling season?  Well, I did link to it's original recipe on Epicurious.  But you need my chatty description and my little twists, right?  Sure you do.  Tri tip is a hearty lower sirloin cut.  Costco sells it in triangular roasts (tri-tip would lend it's self to the triangular shape I do believe) and long strips like boneless short ribs.  This recipe is great because no marinating is involved.  You can decide to have people over and start cooking 90 minutes out and be just fine.  We made this for Fourth of July and had the neighbors over for a combined meal/pitch-in.  Sometimes I just physically need red meat.  The Fourth was one of those days.  Days upon days of tofu, beans, chicken and turkey while delicious and better for me, can only go on so long before I apparently need iron or whatever my body tells me I am missing from a nice cut of beef.  If you're one of my vegetarian friends, these are delicious preparations of caramelized onions and red wine barbecue sauce that you can serve with just about anything, anytime.

I found this recipe on Epicurious years ago and make it when company's coming at least once a summer.  Yum!

Caramelized Onions

2 T unsalted butter
2 T olive oil
2 1/2 pounds onions (red, white, or sweet this time I used cippollini onions from the farmer's market), halved and thinly sliced
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C chopped fresh chives, optional (I am not growing them this year and forgot to buy them, they are a nice addition, but not necessary)

Grilled Tri -Tip
1 T olive oil
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound beef loin tri-tip roasts, trimmed of all but 1/4-inch fat

Red Wine Barbecue Sauce
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 T minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/2 C dry red wine
1/2 C low sugar ketchup
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1/8 tsp liquid smoke

Caramelize the onions by melting butter with olive oil in a large skillet over low heat.  Turn up heat to medium low and add onions, stirring occasionally and cooking until deep golden brown or about 30-40 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Taste for seasoning.  Can be made one day ahead and re-warmed before serving.  If using chives, stir in at last minute.

About 15 minutes before grilling put tri-tip roasts on a baking sheet and rub olive oil over all surfaces.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper and rub in.  Let sit while grill gets hot.

After the first 10 minutes of grilling you will need the barbecue sauce, so prepare it while the meat is waiting for the grill to heat up.  Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in garlic, cumin and chipotle with adobo and cook for about one minute, pour in wine and simmer another 2 or 3 minutes.  Stir in ketchup, cider vinegar, soy sauce and liquid smoke and simmer another 2-3 minutes.  Sauce can be made up to two days in advance.

When grill is hot, grill for 5 minutes on each side.  Reduce heat to medium low, lower lid and grill until 125 to 130 degrees for medium rare (20-30 minutes longer), brushing roasts with barbecue sauce and turning every 10 minutes.  Remove roasts from grill and let rest 10 minutes.  Cut cross-wise in very thin slices and arrange on a platter surrounded by warm carmelized onions.  If you have any leftover sauce, bring it to a boil on the stove and serve alongside roast and onions.

    cippollini onions from the farmer's market (sideways, grrr)

    tri tip roasts

    starting the onions

    tri tips seasoned and ready to go

    barbecued roasts

    onions, mostly caramelized

    last brush of sauce


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