Save, Sear and Celebrate All Summer Long
Summertime in Canada means looking for ways to entertain on the grill while keeping grocery costs low. Food writer, recipe developer and professional home economist, Jennifer MacKenzie has teamed up with the Beef Information Centre to show Canadians how to prepare, cook and serve the trendiest cuts of Canadian beef that just happen to be inexpensive too. “These trendy and pocket friendly cuts include flank, sirloin tip, brisket and tri-tip and are awesome for entertaining big groups and feeding your family,” said MacKenzie. “They are so easy to cook and when you serve them you can slice and share, pick your level of doneness and choose your portion size.”
Whereas a well-marbled cut needs little in the way of adornment — a sprinkling of salt, perhaps. These less popular cuts of beef have typically been saved for the stew pot. Long simmering does wonders for the tougher cuts, but don’t swear off barbecuing if all you have is a freezer full of brisket and flank steaks. Proper marinating goes a long way in guaranteeing a tender, melt-in-your-mouth and flavourful cut of meat.
Cover the meat in a highly acidic marinade the night before. That will ensure enough time for the fibre to break down sufficiently. Avoid using actual vinegar in the marinade, unless it’s flavoured — apple cider, balsamic or fruit vinegars work well. Be careful not to add too much. Remember the meat will take on the flavour of the marinade; so, make sure that the taste is to your liking. Fruit juices — orange, lemon and lime — make wonderful additions to marinades, and give the meat incredible flavour. A cup or so of wine poured into the meat marinade is also a good option!
You might not be familiar with a tri-tip cut. Canadian butchers don’t often stock it. The tri-tip is a triangular cut off the back end of a side of beef. Most butchers will create several other cuts from that one section — the sirloin tip and the flank steak are just two of the cuts that emerge from the whole tri-tip. I had to visit three or four different butchers before finding a whole tri-tip (at Whole Foods). When grilling these cuts, you can either slice them into thin pieces before marinading then barbecue the slices for one or two minutes per side. Or, marinate and grill the whole then slice and serve.