Wow! What an evening of wonderful food.
We’ve started a small gluten free dinner club with a few friends. Which, when you live in a town of about 2,000 people is a big deal! Unfortunately, one of the couples had to back out last minute, but it was still absolutely amazing!
On the menu last night:
- Cremini and Arugula Stuffed Tri-Tip in a Tomato Sauce (recipe to follow) there was even a vegetarian option… I’ll include the recipe for that as well!
- Dinner Rolls (recipe from Gluten Free Quick and Easy, by Carol Fenster)
- Roasted Broccoli
and for dessert:
- Chocolate Birthday Cake (recipe from Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone) layered with strawberries
- Dairy-free Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream (recipe to be posted in the next post!)
Wow! What a flavorful feast! Every bite was amazing and full of flavor. Talk about a food coma!
I love when experiments turn out just right. My plan was to stuff the tri-tip with spinach, but somehow I pulled the bunch of arugula out of the fridge instead of the spinach, and it ended up being amazing! Cooking it takes a lot of the bite out of the arugula that so many people don’t like, but leaves so much flavor!
So, without further ado… here’s the recipe!
Cremini and Arugula Stuffed Tri-Tip with Tomato Sauce
- 1.5 – 2 lb. tri-tip (pork or beef works, though I found that I liked the flavor of the beef better! If you can’t find tri-tip, a tenderloin or flank steak would work just as well!)
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 1 white onion, diced and divided
- 8 cloves of garlic: 4 minced, 4 smashed
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary, minced
- olive oil for sauteeing
- 1/2 a bunch of arugula, washed and de-stemmed
- 6 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 c. white wine
- salt and pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes, to taste
Now, originally I would have cut the tri-tip in half horizontally and then pounded them flat, but I tend to make such a mess when I try to pound out filets, that I have come up with another method that seems to work somewhat well for me. Since I cooked these in a dutch oven, each tri-tip created two rolls. I first cut the tri-tip in half horizontally, then with each half, proceeded to do a not-quite-complete horizontal cut again. Basically quartering the tri-tip, but leaving about a 1/4-1/3 inch slab of meat to hold the two quarters together. I know I am not explaining this well, so if you think of the tri-tip half, when you are done with the second cut, you should be able to open it up like a book! Hope that works for those visually inclined (next time I’ll remember to take pictures!)
If the slabs are still too thick, I make small incisions in the thicker parts, and then pound it out a little. You want each slab to be between 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick so that it cooks evenly.
Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil (I used about 2 tablespoons). Once the oil has heated, saute half the onions and all the celery until they are soft and starting to brown. Then add the mushrooms and the minced garlic. Continue sauteeing until the mushrooms have released their juices, and most of the juice has evaporated. Once this is complete, season to your taste with salt, pepper and rosemary. This is your filling.
Now it is time to assemble the meat rolls. Place a thick layer of arugula on top of the slab of meat, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Top this with half of your cremini filling. Then tightly roll the meat so that it makes a log, somewhat like a jelly or swiss roll! Secure the roll with baking twine tied tightly in 3-4 spots. In a dutch-oven or high-sided cast-iron, heat approximately 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Starting with the seam side down, sear each side of the roll until it is lightly browned. Remove the meat to a plate.
In the same pan, saute the rest of the onions. Once they are soft, add the smashed garlic and continue sauteeing until fragrant. Add the white wine and the tri-tip rolls and cook on medium high heat until the wine has been reduced by half. Once it has been reduced by half, add the tomatoes. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to your liking.
Remove meat from pan and let sit 10 minutes before slicing. If your tomato sauce is too runny, continue simmering the sauce without the lid on while the meat is settling. Slice thinly on the diagonal and serve with a large spoonful of the tomato sauce over the meat slices.
Wow – that sounded extremely involved.
For a vegetarian version, use portabella mushrooms. Depending on your mushrooms, you may need to cut out a little of the “gills” to make room for your fillings. Cut up a little arugula and make a bed of leaves for the cremini filling. Fill to the top with the cremini mixture.
Make the sauce the same way, except simmer the tomatoes for about 5 minutes before you nestle the stuffed mushrooms into the tomato sauce. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes and serve.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think!