Although tri-tip is often grilled, its leanness makes it a better candidate for stir-frying. When stir-fried, the meat can absorb the flavors of the other ingredients, rather than drying out from the heat of the grill. Pleasantly bitter radicchio crisps in the same pan, and peppery watercress provides a refreshing accent.
Stir-Fried Tri-tip with Radicchio
1 tri-tip roast or top sirloin steak, about 1 lb. (500 g)
1 large head radicchio, 8 to 9 oz. (250 to 280 g)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 small bunch watercress, tough stems removed
1 tsp. white or red wine vinegar
Put the beef in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm it up for slicing thin. Meanwhile, core the radicchio and cut lengthwise into quarters. Cut each quarter crosswise into thin slivers.
Cut the partially frozen beef in half lengthwise, then cut each half across the grain into slices about 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) thick. Season the slices generously with salt and pepper.
In a large wok or fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Add half of the beef, distributing it evenly, and cook without moving it for about 20 seconds. Continue to cook the beef, tossing and stirring it every 15 to 20 seconds, until browned but still slightly pink inside, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Repeat to cook the remaining beef in the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and transfer to the platter with the first batch.
Pour off most of the oil from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter. Add the radicchio and shallot, and stir-fry until the radicchio is wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the beef and any juices to the pan. Add the watercress and vinegar. Stir-fry for about 1 minute to warm the beef and wilt the watercress, then serve immediately. Serves 4.
Find more simple one-dish dinners in our cookbook
One Pot of the Day by Kate McMillan.