When I was a kid Labor Day was sort of a dreaded holiday for me. It marked the official end of the summer holidays because the very next day was the first day of school. Although I loved school, I enjoyed my summers filled with beach days, hanging out with friends and seeing movies.
Now, Labor Day is exciting. It means the last of summer grilling and that Fall is right around the corner – Fall is my favorite season. Before I get too excited about that, I wanted to share what was on my Labor Day menu.
Tri-tip, classic baked beans and grilled corn with honey-chili butter – who can go wrong with that?! Tri-tip is one of the perfect cuts of meat for grilling, paired with the most amazing baked bean recipe I’ve ever come across and fresh, sweet corn done right on the grill – you’ve got yourself a delicious feast.
There is something about homemade baked beans. Smokey, salty and comforting. Oh, and don’t forget the bacon.
I’ve been making these beans for a long time now and it is hands down the best baked bean recipe I’ve come across. You need to make these beans now.
I don’t mess around with my grilled corn.
I grill them husk and all.The husk acts as a natural steam barrier allowing the corn to cook and the sugars to intensify. I like to have guests grab the corn off the grill and just peel the husks back themselves – adds a bit of rustic drama.
Put them on with your longest cooking item (30 – 45 minutes) and flip them once half way through. It’s fool proof perfection.
I don’t usually eat my corn with anything – not even butter. I’m a corn purist.
Being a holiday and all, I went to town. I made honey chili butter. It added a little something to those already glorious ears of golden corn.
The star of the show – tri-tip.
I’ve had tri-tip 101 ways – marinated, dry-rubbed, smoked, baked. My favorite by far is grilled with my own custom tri-tip dry rub.
The key is to have the rub on it to where it adds flavor but doesn’t overpower the taste of the meat. I leave my rub on for up to 2 hrs but not usually much more than that. Another equally important key is to make sure your meat is at room temperature before grilling.
Oh, and one more thing. In my opinion, the most important step when cooking meat is to let it rest.This step is so often overlooked and results in a sub-par finished product. Take your meat off the grill and cover it with foil and let is sit there while you finish up the remaining elements of the meal – it should be the very last thing you do.
In the resting phase, the internal meat temperature rises up to 10 degrees and juices re-distribute throughout the meat. So rest your meat people. Rest it for longer than you think you should.
This was a half tri-tip – I cooked it for 15 minutes either side and I let it rest for nearly 25 minutes – almost as long as I grilled it for.
Not bad. Notice that there isn’t much juice on the cutting board, that’s because its in the meat.
Summer is not over yet so get outside and light up that grill. Enjoy!
Classic Baked Beans
1/2 package of bacon, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup or tomato paste
3 minced garlic cloves
¼ cup of your favorite bbq sauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, more to taste
2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 (15-ounce) cans white beans, such as navy, rinsed and drained or 6 cups cooked white beans
1 to 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325°F. Cook bacon in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat until it starts to release its fat. Add olive oil and onions and cook until translucent and soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined and cook for 1 minute.
Cover skillet tightly with a lid or foil and bake for 1 hour. You can also transfer to a oven proof baking dish. Remove lid, add more broth if needed to moisten beans and continue to bake, uncovered, until top is browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes more. Serve hot.
Grilled Corn with Honey Chili Butter
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1 tablespoon ancho or chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
8 ears of corn, husked
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium-low heat. Add chile powder and cumin; stir 10 seconds. Transfer to medium bowl; stir in honey and cool.
Add oregano, coarse salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, and 6 tablespoons butter to butter mixture. Mix until smooth. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill corn until charred in spots, turning often, about 13 minutes. Transfer corn to platter. Serve with honey-ancho butter.
Tri-Tip Dry Rub
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
1 tbsp pink Himalayan salt crystals
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp mesquite seasoning
Olive oil blend
Take all of the ingredients and grind in a mortar and pestil until salt and pepper are finely ground. Sprinkle meat with the olive oil blend and then coat with the spice blend. Let meat sit for up to 2 hrs at room temperature.
Dry rub recipe can be doubled or tripled depending upon the size of your tri-tip.00