We have entered the Thomas Keller era over here at the 4 Pears household. We've gone through many "eras"; Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten.... and these periods are almost always caused by the purchase of a new cookbook.
A while back, Father's Day last year actually, Alex received Mr Keller's Bouchon cookbook. That book brought us a lot of lovely recipes such as the French Onion Soup but also a lot of headaches. That cookbook is tough! Not for the faint of heart at all. So, while we love to suffer through some of those ridiculously complicated recipes, most don't make it onto this blog. After all, I'm not trying to convince you guys that tearing your hair out over a quiche (darn that quiche!) on a Saturday is a good time. We are just gluttons for punishment. :)
Our newest cookbook, though, is the one that has spawned our new "era". Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller is an amazing book! The recipes are delicious and while not necessarily quick and easy, they are totally doable. Flipping through it I don't see one recipe that doesn't make me hungry. And on top of appealing dinner, soups, sides and dessert recipes there are sauces and salad dressings, tapenades and marmalades among many many other things. This book is packed with how-to's and tips for the home cook. You could almost just sit down and read it. (Like Mr Pears does some nights)
Last weekend we made one of the easiest Thomas Keller recipes we've tried yet, and it was fabulous. The Santa Maria-style Tri-Tip. This cut of meat is reasonably priced at a butcher or Whole Foods and it is super tender. Keller's rub is so so tasty. Almost fail-proof. Enjoy!
Santa Maria-Style Tri Tip by Thomas Keller, found in ad hoc at home
(this recipe serves six)
One 2 1/2 lb tri-tip roast (cook times are for a 3 inch think piece)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon piment d' Espelette (we used crushed red pepper instead)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 sprig rosemary
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 lemon, sliced thin (about 5 slices needed)
The day before you are having this for lunch or dinner, trim your meat of the silvery skin on top. Mix together the peppers and paprika and rub them all over the meat. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap, tightly, and put it into the refrigerator.
Now here's a tip to making an awesome steak that some don't know. Take the meat out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are going to cook it. It is perfectly safe to do so and it allows the meat to come to room temperature so that you can cook it properly and evenly. No cool spots in your medium-rare steak!
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Heat some oil in a large dutch oven or frying pan on medium heat. Pat your meat dry with paper towels and season it with kosher salt on all sides. Put the meat into the pan when the oil begins to shimmer and brown it (without moving it!) for about a minute and a half. Add the butter, rosemary, lemon slices and garlic clove to the pan. Flip the meat and cook it on the other side for about 2 more minutes. Once it is browned, you can either put the dutch oven into the oven or transfer the meat to a roasting pan and put that in the oven.
Roast the meat for 40-60 minutes. The internal temperature of the center of the meat should be 135 F. Once it is, take the meat out and let it rest for about 30 minutes so that it retains all of the juices. Slice and serve! We had over with an arugula salad and roasted red pepper vinaigrette (recipe also found in ad hoc), it was delicious. I hope you love it!