Once again the author of the New York Times column "The Minimalist" shows us that cooking does not have to take a long time as long as we minimize the degree of care and skill that we bring to the kitchen. But first let me point out what Mr. Bittman gets right or does well as he shows us how to cook a Tri-tip steak with romanesco sauce.
1) He gets the pan hot before he puts the meat in to cook.
2) The sauce, although not to my taste, is well-crafted
Now the stuff that I don't recommend.
His take on bovine anatomy would get him in a lot of trouble if he was butchering a cow for someone who understood the retail value of a Tri-tip steak. Last time I looked, cattle were quadrupedal and bilaterally symmetrical, which implies that there are two of each distinct muscles for every animal, making this statement false
"First, there is only one per cow, so it is not all that common."
Tri-tips are located at the posterior-ventral end of the sirloin between the round (hind leg) and the sirloin (think of sirloin as the hip). Since each cow has two sides then there should be TWO tri-tips per cow, not one.
- Higher rates of moisture loss
- Reduced denaturation of connective tissue due to reduce availability of water (moisture) for hydrolysis
- More rapid coagulation and shortening of muscle fibers resulting in tougher meat that is also more prone to squeeze out water
Making an already bad situation worse, despite his advice to let the meat rest he does not let the meat rest before slicing so juice leaks out at an accelerated rate. Also, while the meat may have been at 125 degrees F when he took it out of the oven the meat ends up being almost well-done because the overheated oven made the outer layers of the meat too hot, thereby making the meat "carry-over" too much.if he had used a more moderate oven temperature, say 350 or 375 degrees F, there would have been less carry-over and the meat would have been more homogeneously red (rare).
Further capitalizing on an already nearly ruined piece of beef he uses a serrated knife which exacerbates moisture loss by "sawing" instead of "snipping" the muscle fibers thereby maximizing their surface area for water loss. The serrated knife also makes ugly "wavy" looking slices for a highly unprofessional presentation.
"The Minimalist - Tri-Tip Is a Delicious Cut of Steak, but Hard to Get - NYTimes.com: