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Sunday Dinner: Harissa-Crusted Tri-Tip Roast

Tri-tip is one of my favorite cuts of beef because it's affordable and feeds a crowd. Besides being lower in cost, tri-tip is also incredibly flavorful with a lower fat content. If you have never experimented with it before, I suggest you do so tonight.

This simple recipe coats the steak with a spicy African sauce known as harissa. While the meat cooks, the sauce forms a delicious crust.

To see how it's made,


Harissa-Crusted Tri-Tip Roast

Harissa-Crusted Tri-Tip Roast

Harissa-Crusted Tri-Tip Roast


1 3/4 teaspoons caraway seeds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves
1/4 cup chili paste (such as sambal oelek)*
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1 1 3/4- to 2-pound tri-tip beef roast, most of fat layer trimmed


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Toast caraway seeds in small nonstick skillet over medium heat until seeds darken and begin to smoke, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add olive oil and garlic cloves to caraway seeds in skillet. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 1 minute.
  4. Pour caraway mixture into processor. Add chili paste, tomato sauce, cumin, and chili powder and blend until garlic cloves are pureed. Season harissa to taste with salt.
  5. Sprinkle beef all over with salt and pepper; place beef, fat side down, on rack on rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Spread with half of harissa. Turn beef over; spread remaining harissa over top and sides.
  7. Roast beef until thermometer inserted into center registers 125°F to 130°F for medium-rare, about 35 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Serves 4-6.

*Available in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets and at Asian markets.

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