Beef: Something old, something new

When we served slow-roasted pork shoulder with a garlic-lime mojo at one of our 2011 summer smorgasbords, we had 80 guests show up.

When we served prime rib, we had 200. When we served prime New York strip steaks, it was 240.

You get the idea. Guests at Sacandaga Bible Conference love their beef. Keeping them engaged with something unique is the challenge.

How will we handle that this year?

Something old: We’re bringing back a dish from the 1980s for a summer smorgasbord. We’ll be roasting a steamship round — 60 pounds of several whole roasts still bound together — and serving it with horseradish cream. I’m sure some of our older guests will appreciate the nod to Sac’s culinary heritage.

But what will they think of the tri-tip?

Something new: On Feb. 18 Valentine’s Day dinner (no, it’s not actually Valentine’s Day; point taken), we’ll be carving tri-tip steaks. The tri-tip is a pretty lean piece of sirloin — there are only two on each cow — that’s similar to flank steak. Cook it perfectly and it will hold as much flavor as rib-eye. Carve it correctly and it’ll be as tender as filet mignon. Mess it up and … well, that won’t happen. We’ll be serving it with a roasted garlic demi glace, along with Moroccan-style chicken and couscous, a Mediterranean salad, several vegetables and cheesecake with raspberry coulis.

Those craving familiarity will not be disappointed between July 4th and Labor Day. A prime rib smorgasbord is on the calendar. Steak night will return.

Isn’t it great that God created big critters with so much diversity? It’s as though he knew we’d be bored by the same roast beef every day.

A look at the tri-tip from one of my favorite food journos, the New York Times’ Mark Bittman: Tri-tip steak with tomato romesco


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