BNLS and roots

I have explained above my discovery of BNLS in my local supermarkets, so I won’t belabor the ingredient further here. This recipe is a dinner alternative when a beef Bourgogne is deemed a bit too rich, and a New England Boiled Dinner does not seem quite robust enough. The BNLS can be beef, pork, or lamb. After all, BNLS are BNLS.

  • 1 lb BNLS, in bite sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 small turnip, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 1 3” piece daikon radish, chopped
  • 8 brussels sprouts

Brown the BNLS in the oil. Add the water, black pepper, onion soup mix, garlic, and mushrooms and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and continue the simmer until the meat is tender (variable, depending on which BNLS you are using). Add the vegetables and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve in bowls with (what else?) cheese-garlic toast .

The Walther Tujunga Tri-Tip Roast ‡

A number of my JPL colleagues in the Deep Space Metrics Prediction project had dined at the home of my long-time associate Jonathan Walther in Tujunga, out in the San Fernando Valley. The tri-tip roast he had prepared was praised by all. I received an email with this recipe a week later, dated June 30, 1997.

Tujunga Tri-Tip is basically a smoked triangular cut from the bottom sirloin primal cut* with a dry rub application, known to him as the “Wigley Sprinkle,” which may be found elsewhere among these recipes. He reported that his method works well on other beef cuts and is especially good with pork roasts stuffed with cloves of garlic.

The ingredients are simple:

  • tri-tip roast
  • enough Wigley Sprinkle to cover completely

Remove all fat from the outside of the roast. Leave the membrane in place to help retain moisture (to be removed later).

Liberally apply the Wigley Sprinkle to the roast with the hands, rubbing it into all surfaces. Let it rest for a half-hour or so before smoking to allow the meat juices to integrate with the dry rub, forming a semi-dry paste covering. During the smoking process, as juices are drawn out of the meat, they continue to mix with the rub and form a crust that helps keep the juices in. Keep the temperature of the smoking process low enough that the sugar (if using the original sprinkle recipe) in the coating caramelizes, but does not burn.

Smoke the roast using hickory wood chips or pieces, turning every 15 to 20 minutes, preferably using a smoker with a pan of water between the heat and the meat. You may also use hickory charcoal briquettes in lieu of hickory chips; but hickory smoke is very important to the taste of the finished product. Keep a fairly thin, continuous flow of smoke during the process until done.

Cooking in this manner should take from about 3 to 5 hours to complete, depending on the heat of the fire, the amount of water in the smoker, and the attention and patience of the cook. Slow roasting is a fairly forgiving process because there is enough time between ‘done’ and ‘burnt’ for the cook to react appropriately.

When deemed to be done, remove from the smoker, remove any surface membrane, slice thinly across the grain, and serve with side dishes appropriate to the occasion.

If you prefer preparing this roast in the oven, set the temperature to 200°F. Use a meat thermometer and remove from the heat when it reads 135°F (rare) or 145°F (medium).