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Faux Fred's Marinade for Tri-Tip (Copycat? recipe) Review

 
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squeasel



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 11
Location: SF Bay Area

PostPosted: Tue Aug 13 13 12:02 pm    Post subject: Faux Fred's Marinade for Tri-Tip (Copycat? recipe) Review Reply with quote

Background: In the 1990's I worked in Menlo Park, CA, part of Silicon Valley USA. In the massive upscale shopping center at Stanford University was a butcher shop that served marinaded beef called “Fred's Steak”. I have not had Fred's in a decade but recall its' features (somewhat): It was advertised as bottom sirloin but think I would call it a tri-tip now; it was black … really … black. And it was salty in a pleasant but simplistic way. It was popular enough for the butcher shop clientele to pay $14/lb for the marinaded but raw meat. The recipe is a secret but there are some “copycats” online who claim a similar recipe or result.

I very much liked the Fred's Steak and have had a longing for it for some years. So tonight I have tried this copycat (see: http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-130374.html note that I hope this link is ok to post). I made the recipe as stated with these exceptions: 1) used light soy instead of Tamari 2) Used Marmite instead of Vegemite … otherwise all ingredients and proportions are the same. I marinaded a 2 lb. Tri-trip (nice marbling) for 4 days using ½ the marinade inside a sealed plastic bag.

I cooked the Tri-tip in a Weber Kettle with indirect heat (briquettes and Mesquite charcoal) just as I did a decade or more ago. The results were not as hoped for. This faux marinade does not turn the meat black. This is an esthetic issue I realize but it does make me think that the recipe lacks credibility. The final color could be called mahogany but definitely not the same as the original. The taste of the cooked food seemed more of an attempt at complexity and “ingredient baiting” than imitation. There was no similarity of the Faux Fred's to my memory of the genuine item. Faux Fred's was far more sweet, and far less salty. And here is something that I have trouble explaining but Faux Fred's lacks “mid-range” or depth in it's flavors. What was left was a sharp or bright acidic taste with an over-sweetness that comes from Balsamic misuse, IMHO.

Since I am peeved a bit I will also mention the cost of this marinade. It is high in my thinking. It makes about 1 L and my cost estimate is $6.50. I only used a 1/2L and probably could have gotten away with less so maybe I am jaded because of the poor results.

Ultimately, I have cobbled together much better marinades over the years with far fewer ingredients and that hit a fuller taste range. Also, I will say that I have not marinaded Tri-tip for this long but would not hesitate in the future.

FWIW - Squeasel
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1buckie
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Joined: 10 May 2009
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Location: Sacramento CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20 13 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A possibility.....
(Keeping in mind, I never had Fred's & can't see the actual pic in the link.)

Lose the wine, Balsamic, tamari & woosty......(all salty or acidic, in some way)

Add in an ascending mixture of fine ground turbinado & THIS ~~~>

http://www.bordolay.com/pages/products.html

Until you get where you like


It may be in stores in your area for less than the shipping cosrt....usually $4~5.....their listing is not entirely up to date, it's in Raley's chain stores & some other ones....look around.....this stuff is the "ONE" as far as a T-tip marinade, like woosty on really rich, slighty sweet steroids....hyper good stuff......shake well, if you find it
....and if soaked thru. it will turn the meat almost black..... Very Happy
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It's gonna say on my tombstone: Died of thick, heavy sauces ~~~~>K
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squeasel



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 11
Location: SF Bay Area

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20 13 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1buckie ... thanks for marinade link.

Here is a short write-up about real Fred's Steak and it includes some pictures. See http://theadventuresoftintin.typepad.com/index/2007/09/fred-steak.html .

I agree with the author that the real marinade enhances the meat but does not over power it. Who knows maybe the marinade is simply squid ink and MSG.

Anyhow, this Faux Fred's Steak was the first Tri-tip ever (out of a hundred maybe) not finished by the family. Since I won't be making it again I'll need to find some use for the rest of the Marmite ... deer repellent?
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1buckie
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20 13 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that.....

It's interesting that even Fred called it a "steak"....the reviewer in your link said: " I have never had baked steak ".....yet the instructions are basically for a "roast"

I've been doing these things since the late 80's & have, with few exceptions, treated them like a roast.....
As much as I've done them, I forget to get really good pics of how they usually are done...here's one kinda wide-ranging post that includes some cooks as roasts to well done, juiced up with various marinades ~~>

http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=50567&highlight=tritip

I've had them come out looking appearently like the sliced "Fred's Steak" many, many times using the Radich's product, sometimes in conjuction with a strained herb & garlic bottled sauce like Lawry's etc.

Injected the nite before & re-injected right before cooking, sear 1st, run @250~275 for a length of time indirect & they come out to a point where it's almost melt in your mouth tender........
Most folks will treat this as a steak & go medium-rare & I've had some folk demand that the "only" way to get it done that way correctly is reverse sear.....

I would guess the Vegemite & tamari is what sort of 'Gels'
on the surface to create the unique black, shiny bark layer.....

"it looked very scary straight out of the butcher paper"

It does......until you taste it, I'll bet !!!!
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Have Fun Playin' with Yer Food !!!
"Dam Silly Sumbitch"-- Myron Mixon
"I will prevail. No pig will ever get the better of me." ~~> Italian Skewer
It's gonna say on my tombstone: Died of thick, heavy sauces ~~~~>K
" The Creepy Guy Down the Street With All The Webers"
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Smokergreg
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Joined: 04 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01 13 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting stuff. the pictures made me want to research and this is probably a good place to start from and then add as your taste buds remember.

http://www.chow.com/recipes/26665-faux-fred-marinated-tritip-in-honor-of-russs-birthday

The squid ink would explain the $14/pound and the blackness. These days you could have it tomorrow on amazon.
I would toast the cocoa with the chipotle as they suggest.
This recipie you also caramelize sugar with less coffee.
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