Saturday Afternoon Tomato-Onion Soup

Here’s a great tomato-onion soup dish I made this afternoon after having a wonderful similar soup last week at Biba’s Ristorante in Sacramento! This takes some time but doesn’t require constant attention – ideal for a lazy afternoon where you might be working on other things as well!


Ingredients

  • 5 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes – 28 oz (I prefer Muir Glen organic)
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In large pot heat olive oil and add onions. Medium heat.
  2. After 10 minutes stir, turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes. Onions should be beginning to carmelize.
  3. Uncover and sir periodically. About 40-45 minutes total.
  4. 4, Add diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes before serving.

First posted: January 18, 2020

Scott’s Slow Oven-Roasted Tri-Tip

The most popular recipe on ScottsKitchen.com has been my 2005 recipe for oven roasted tri-tip roast. I’ve made tri-tips with that recipe dozens of times (or so it seems!).

More recently, I’ve re-discovered the tenderness benefits of slow roasting beef. There’s another recipe here (2009 Recession-Era Slow-Roasted Roast Beef) that demonstrates that technique. Turns out that technique is used by deli’s to make their roast beef for slicing and sandwiches. It both minimizes the weight loss from cooking the beef plus it allowed cheaper cuts of beef to be used as well.

Turns out that slow roasting can be useful with tri-tip roasts as well. My version using this process follows below. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

Ingredients

  • 2.5 to 3 lb tri-tip roast
  • 2 Tbs olive oil or other cooking oil
  • Plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions

  1. About 30 minutes ahead of time, bring the tri-tip out of the oven to allow it to begin warming.
  2. About 15 minutes ahead of time, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or other cooking oil to a large, heavy ovenproof pan. Heat pan on high.
  4. When the pan is very hot, add the tri-tip, fat side down. Turn heat to medium-high and sear roast for about 4 minutes. Turn the roast and put the pan with the tri-tip into the oven.
  5. Immediately turn the oven down to 225 degrees. Cook roast for about 15 minutes a pound, checking with an instant-read thermometer after 30 minutes. When it reaches 130 degrees it’s medium-rare and time to take the pan out of the oven.
  6. Remove tri-tip to cutting board. Wrap tri-tip in aluminum foil and leave for 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to settle.
  7. Remove tri-tip from the foil and thinly slice it against the grain (in other words, across the grain). Serve on a platter – BBQ sauce or steak sauce totally optional.

(Added: December 17, 2019)

Welcome Back!

I’m very pleased to have brought this site – my recipe/cooking blog – back to life after a couple of years of neglect!

The old standby recipes are still here in a freshened up wrapper with this new design and hosting setup. FYI, far and away the most popular recipe here over the years has been my ‘Lazy-S Tri-Tip‘ recipe. Another surprisingly popular article describes how to use the Williams-Sonoma Cooking Probe Thermometer. Finally, there’s the most recent recipe from 2018 about making delicious short ribs.

I’m looking forward to getting back into more posting here in 2020! Meanwhile, lots of holiday cooking ahead – enjoy yours!

Scott’s 2018 Short Ribs

This is a perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday afternoon – serving two or with guests serving four! The short ribs need about 3 hours to cook – so start around 2 PM and you’ll be ready for a great dinner about 5:30 or 6 PM.

The inspiration for this recipe came from chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Obama’s Short Ribs recipe as described in the New York Times – and it’s also in the chef’s Red Rooster Cookbook – The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem.

I’ve made several modifications – basically to make it simpler and easier. I usually try to rework recipes that use amounts of ingredients that result in wasting portions that you might buy in standard size packages. So, I adjusted – and simplified – and the result was great!

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 (6-ounce) bone-in short ribs (about 2.5 to 3.5 lbs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 14.5 oz package of Mirepoix (Trader Joes or Whole Foods) – containing 1 onion (chopped), 1 carrot (trimmed and chopped), 2 celery ribs, (trimmed and chopped)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed, smashed and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped – or about 1-1/2 tbs of already minced garlic
  • 1 Optional (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel)
  • 3 cups beef broth (2 cups if only 4 ribs)
  • ½ cup plum sauce (¼ cup if only 4 ribs)
  • ½ cup soy sauce (¼ cup if only 4 ribs)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Season ribs all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add short ribs and brown on all four sides, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
  3. Add mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery), lemongrass, garlic and ginger to the pot. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in wine, beef broth, plum sauce, soy sauce, thyme, parsley and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.
  5. Return short ribs to pot, along with any juices, cover and slide pot into oven. Braise until meat is fork-tender, about 3 hours.
  6. Transfer meat to a plate. Use a ladle to skim the fat off the top of the braising liquid. Discard bay leaves and thyme stems. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Add short ribs and turn to coat in the sauce; set aside until you’re ready to serve.
  8. Serve short ribs in shallow bowls and top with a spoonful of sauce. Put remaining sauce in a bowl for the table. Enjoy!
  9. Serve with the rest of the red wine – and, likely, a second bottle! If there are leftovers, congratulations – as the ribs are even better warmed up tomorrow!

[First posted: February 26, 2018]

Scott’s Easy Baked Onions

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Here’s a great side dish to accompany grilled or roasted tri-tip – baked onions. There are a couple of ways to make this dish – one in the oven ahead of grilling the tri-tips on the Weber BBQ, alongside the tri-tips if you roast them in the oven, or ahead of time by cooking the onions in the coals of the BBQ fire.

It couldn’t be simpler – just takes a bit of planning and a bit of time – but it can overlap with cooking the tri-tips if you first start by getting the onions going.

I like to use just plain yellow onions – available everywhere. A rule of thumb might be 1 medium onion per person – but we really like onions so we usually double up the recipe and keep any left over to warm up along with the left over tri-tip later in the week.

To roast the onions in the oven, begin by pre-heating the oven to 425º F. Then, take a baking sheet or glass baking dish with aluminum foil (to ease the cleanup chores) and simply place the onions on the sheet or into the dish. Put them into the oven and wait – about an hour or so. Test to see if they’re done with a knife which should go in easily and come out cleanly. Remove them from the oven and let them cool down so that you can handle them.

To serve, use a knife to cut off the top and, optionally, drop a pat of butter into the onion – seasoning with salt and pepper.

For an alternative technique – cooking the onions in the coals of the BBQ – see this Weber video about “Melted Onions“.

My Favorite Memorial Day BBQ Recipes

Hard to believe we’re into Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer! It’s a perfect weekend for firing up the BBQ and doing some grilling! Here are a couple of recipe ideas to tempt your appetite:

For a great side dish to go with the tri-tip, try my recipe for Scott’s Easy Baked Onions – or the Melted Onions actually cooked in the charcoal coals of the BBQ.

Fire up that grill – and have a great holiday weekend!

Scott’s Wintertime Beef, Mushroom and Barley Soup

A favorite of mine this time of year is a hearty beef, mushroom and barley soup.

Some might call it a “beef stew” – and they’d be right. But it’s got a lot of liquid – assuming you use all of the liquids called for – yet has the great flavor of a beef stew. We made this for a second time today – using an amalgamation of one of Mark Bittman’s recipes along with a slow cooker recipe from Cooks Illustrated.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs beef chuck roast – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 oz fresh Cremini mushrooms
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz mini carrots
  • 3 yellow onions – chopped
  • 4 oz tomato paste
  • 8 oz mini carrots
  • 2 oz Penzey’s shallots
  • 2 oz Penzey’s garlic
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Directions

  • Soak the dried Porcini mushrooms in a cup of hot water.
  • In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add the beef – brown for 10-15 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon. Discard most of the fat remaining.
  • In a separate pan, brown the mushrooms – first dry and later adding a bit of olive oil.
  • In the Dutch oven, add the onions, salt and pepper. Add in the tomato paste, carrots, shallots, and garlic. Add in the mushrooms. Add in the porcini mushrooms – and the liquid while being careful to avoid any grit. Saute for 10 mins. Add the red wine. After 10 mins, add the tomatoes, beef broth and chicken broth.
  • Bring mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low – cover the Dutch oven and continue cooking for 1.5-2 hours. Taste the beef for tenderness to determine when ready to serve.Serve in large soup bowls – perhaps with crusty bread! Enjoy!