Thursday, September 26, 2013

Slow Cooker Spice Rubbed Tri-Tip Roast w/ Rich and Thick Parmesan Cauliflower Mash

This evening we had a delicious "comfort food" dinner. I pulled out my crock pot to make Slow Cooker Beef Loin Tri-Tip Roast. It turned out delicious. Every time I go to Costco (which is almost every week), I look at these "beef loin tri-tip" roasts they carry that I don't find in my grocery store. I had read an article about them not too long ago in Fine Cooking Magazine and decided that if I could ever find a package with just 1 roast in it instead of 2, that I wanted to try it. Costco always packages them in packs of 2 roasts. They are a triangular shaped roast and not like anything I've seen before (I've added a link below if you are interested in reading about them). This past weekend Costco actually had a couple packages with only 1 roast, so I snatched one up immediately (it was calling my name). It wasn't a large roast -- it was 2.12 pounds (and not too expensive at $5.99/lb). I got a head start on preparing tonight's dinner by beginning it late last night. I originally planned to prep the roast and put it in the crock pot so I could just take it out of the fridge and turn it on before heading to work. Instead, I decided to go ahead and actually cook it for 8 hours overnight while we slept. I turned the crock pot off when I got up at 6:00 this morning and transferred the roast to a platter to cool while I showered. When I got back downstairs the roast was cool so I went ahead and thinly sliced it and placed it back in the "au jus" in the crock pot, covered it and placed it in the fridge until this evening. When I got home, I reheated the sliced roast in the crock pot while I prepared my Rich & Thick Parmesan Cauliflower Mash and cooked my yellow squash by lightly sauteing it in a bit of butter and olive oil with sea salt and black pepper...NO water added -- it makes squash squeak in your teeth when you chew it if you cook it in water (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). To season my 2+ pound roast before placing in the crock pot, I made a super simple rub -- nothing magical, just flavorful. I mixed approximately 1/2 teaspoon of each: sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, ground ancho chile pepper, and then about 1/4 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder (you can use your own favorite combination in place of any or all of these). I placed the roast on a cutting board and just rubbed the mixture all over the roast. I placed a very thinly sliced small-medium sized onion in the bottom of the crock pot so the roast would sit on top of the onion and not directly on the bottom of the pot. After I had a thin layer of onion in the bottom of the pot, I placed my spice rubbed roast on top, covered the crock pot and turned it on high for the first 1-1/2 hours and then down to low for the remaining 6-1/2 hours of slow cooking. I bet you are wondering if I forgot to mention that I added some type of liquid...nope, I didn't forget to mention it because I did not add any liquid. The "au jus" that was created as the roast cooked was a very concentrated flavorful juice made up entirely of beef juices and the little bit of liquid in the onion mixed with the spices and seasonings and was not diluted with anything other liquid. It produced approximately 2 cups of juice. Now...if you were going to leave the house all day long for 8+ hours or so, I would probably add about 1/4 cup of liquid to the pot to make sure it stayed moist. I added a touch more salt and pepper to the au jus and spooned it over the cauliflower mash and beef. It was delicious. If you wanted to thicken it into a gravy, you could do that, too if you preferred...but this juice was very flavorful and didn't require any interference whatsoever, it was good as is. I snapped a few photos below and included the recipe for my Rich & Thick Parmesan Cauliflower Mash. P.S--I would definitely buy this kind of roast again. To read more about what a tri-tip roast is, here is a link: Tri-Tip Roast. Enjoy!

See how I have cooked all the chicken broth down out of the cauliflower?

Freshly pureed with my immersion blender along with the cream, cream cheese, Parmesan. salt and pepper.

Rich and Thick Parmesan Cauliflower Mash

1 medium head of fresh cauliflower, broken into 1-inch florets
1 cup (8 oz) of chicken broth or stock
2 ounces brick style cream cheese (1/4 of an 8-oz brick)
3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
3 to 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, place cauliflower and chicken broth; bring to a boil and then cover pan; turn heat down to low and simmer until cauliflower is very soft and tender and chicken broth has completely cooked into the cauliflower (about 20 to 30 minutes). Make sure there is no liquid left at all in the bottom of the pan (remove the cover if necessary and cook until any remaining liquid is gone and the cauliflower is no longer wet looking).  Remove pan from heat and add cream cheese and heavy cream.  Using an immersion blender stick, blend or puree the cauliflower until the cheese and cream are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.  Add grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, to taste.  Blend another minute.  Adjust seasoning and add additional cream, if necessary, to thin out a little bit.  The cauliflower mash should be thick and not runny at all. 

*Note:  To reduce the cooking time for the cauliflower, just cut it up into smaller pieces. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a handheld potato masher, it just won't be quite as smooth. I prefer using an immersion blender rather than transferring it to free-standing blender because it is much easier and less messy since you blend it directly in the pot. It allows you to cover it and keep it warm until ready to serve.


rhodeanie said...

Looks wonderful, and I would like to prepare this menu for my son and daughter-in-law. I know they would enjoy, but for them, I would like to thicken the "Au jus" for gravy. How would you do that? Thanks, Anne in Houston

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Rhodeanie! Thanks. Some people use a little arrowroot powder(just a little so it doesn't raise the carb level too much) - 1 teaspoon has maybe 3 carbs or so (and you don't need much). I have used xanthum gum but many people don't like it because it is tricky getting the right amount -- the right amount is perfect -- a tiny too much and not so good. If you use arrowroot, you probably wouldn't need more than a teaspoon and that would be divided between a number of servings. I have arrowroot but have not used it. Hope that helps and hope you enjoy it! :-)

CyberSis said...

MMM ... here comes the Fall comfort food! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! Yes...I can't get enough of Fall -- want to enjoy every moment of it! :-)

Patricia said...

Looks fantastic (as usual!) I love that Costco tri-tip - I cube it for my mexican beef stew (cumin, garlic, chili powder and a little jalapeno) - it comes out so tender - just the right amount of marbling and not fatty. I'm definitely going to try your idea. Looks great!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Patricia! Your stew sounds really delicious. Do you cook it on the stove top or crock pot? I was wondering how the tri-tip would work as stew beef -- good to know it works well. I agree about the marbling -- it wasn't a fatty roast, but there was enough where it wasn't dry either. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! :-)

rhodeanie said...

I am a Costco member, but mainly have shopped for pet supplies, paper goods, and cleaning supplies. You have alerted me to many more opportunities to buy comestibles: kerrygold butter, Himalayan salt, sharp cheddar cheese, and now, tri-tip roast. Pease continue your buying
tips! Thanks!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Anne! I will make a point to do that -- I like to pass on tips and I also like to get tips from others, too. If you like fresh fish, frequently Costco has wild salmon, halibut and sometimes tuna. I buy my eggs there (organic cage free), my half-and-half as well as my heavy cream often. I buy 1 pound of fresh baby spinach every week, too -- I am a bit of a spinach freak (and brussels sprouts, too) -- they usually have really nice sprouts (in the freeze-your butt off room where they keep berries and veggies). I love their artisan romaine (5 or 6 small heads of romaine that make beautiful taco cups or wraps, etc.). I will try and post more of the finds I get there. :-)

Patricia said...

Hi GG, I just do it on top of the stove' brown up the onions and meat; add spices, beef broth, chopped garlic, carrots, etc. I feel like I can watch it better on top of the stove than in the oven. I use one of those enamel over steel dutch ovens and you know how they hold the darn heat! I have to keep it on the LOWEST possible setting to keep it just simmering and not boiling. Don't want to haul that pot in and out of the oven checking! Takes a couple hours on top of stove. :)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Patricia! That sounds really good. I will definitely buy the tri-tip again. Your stew sounds delicious! I agree with you about it being easier not to take it in and out of the oven. I love smelling the aromas of stew cooking on the stove this time of year. I will have to try your version some time soon! :-)

Darlene said...

A few days after your post I was in my local Wegmans looking at meat, thinking I had never seen a tri-tip roast there, when *surprise*-I saw one right in front of me! It was fairly pricey ($9.99/lb) but small (1.2 lb), so I bought it. I cooked it pretty much the same as you did-overnight in the crock pot, then sliced it and let it sit in the juices for the day. It was so moist and tender and I was so happy with it! I sauteed some peppers/onions (&mushrooms for me) to put on top of it & also made your cauliflower mash. Thanks for the heads-up on this meat! Also, I will be making your cinnamon crisps soon.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

So glad you enjoyed it, Darlene. I think my tri-tip was a tad over 2 lbs. I can't remember what I paid per pound -- I will check it out at Costco this weekend (that's where I picked mine up). I really enjoyed the one I made, too. I do believe that letting it sit in juices after slicing helps a lot with the flavor and juiciness. I will definitely do that again when I make it next time. I bet it was perfect with your added peppers, onions and mushrooms...I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-)