I won’t deny it, I love autumn. When Labor Day rolls around, I go through the necessary motions, pretending that I’ll desperately miss the dog days of summer. Inside, I am busting out my Saturday Night Fever moves and doing a happy dance for the cool days and crisp air that are just around the corner. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the lazy mornings, the extra time with my boys and the long afternoons by the pool. Throwing a steak or fresh vegetables on the grill for a quick dinner isn’t too shabby, either. However, I just can’t deny that I covet the thought of pulling on a pair of jeans and a light sweater and kicking my feet through dry autumn leaves.
Labor Day weekend is one of the last times that we can really kick back in the backyard, without the obligation of soccer games and last-minute homework. The kids always enjoy a good steak, so we’ll be pulling out one of our favorites…tri-tip. Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Molasses Chili Marinade is one of our go-to summer grilling recipes, but we decided to play around with a different marinade and sauce this time.
The marinade is a simple combination of fresh thyme, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, agave nectar (or honey) and olive oil. The subtle sweetness of the agave nectar balances the acid of the vinegar while the fresh thyme adds a freshness reminiscent of the bounty of summer. A dollop of purely addictive red pepper pesto makes this meal into something really special. Leftover pesto? Oh, don’t fret. You’ll be tempted to spread it on sandwiches (see Panini with Grilled Chicken & Summer Squash), pair it with scrambled eggs or wrap it in a corn tortilla with some grilled fish.
For a side dish, I wanted something with a little kick to offset the subtle sweetness of the marinade. The Texas Ranchero flavor of Bush’s Grillin Beans was the perfect accompaniment. The pinto beans are simmered with jalapenos and a red chili sauce, and they offer just the right amount of heat to satisfy my husband and I, but to still make them tempting for the kids.
As we’re sharing our last official summertime meal, we’ll be reminiscing about our summertime adventures. Here are some of our favorite memories:
Hangin’ with Brooks (aka Recipe Boy), washing the car
Place roasted red bell peppers (see How: Roast a Bell Pepper) in the bowl of a food processor. Add slivered almonds, garlic, cilantro, Parmesan cheese, and lime juice. Pulse until combined.
While the food processor is running, slowly pour in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set the pesto aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, red wine vinegar, thyme, agave nectar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil.
Place the tri-tip steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the marinade, seal the bag and massage the meat to coat it with the marinade.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours. Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling to allow the meat to come to room temperature.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grill.
Place the steaks on the grill and cook until desired degree of doneness is reached, about 5-6 minutes per side (for rare), depending on the thickness of the steak. Remove steak from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Thinly slice the steak and serve it with the red pepper pesto.
One 13-inch portable grill, one barbecue spatula and Bush’s Grillin’ Beans (approximate retail value $100 USD).
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From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp agave nectar or honey
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 lbs tri-tip steak
- 2 roasted red peppers, chopped (see How to: Roast a Bell Pepper)
- 3 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, red wine vinegar, thyme, agave nectar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil.
- Place the tri-tip steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the marinade, seal the bag and massage the meat to coat it with the marinade.
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling to allow the meat to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grill.
- Place the steaks on the grill and cook until desired degree of doneness is reached, about 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak. Remove steak from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Place roasted red bell peppers in the bowl of a food processor. Add slivered almonds, garlic, cilantro, Parmesan cheese, and lime juice. Pulse until combined.
- While the food processor is running, slowly pour in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set the pesto aside.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the good people at Bush’s Beans. In addition, they provided the items for the giveaway.