Cooking Playdate: Faux Fred’s Marinated Tri-Tip

Sampling marinated tri-tips (l-r, Faux Fred #1, Real Fred, Faux Fred #2)

Marsha and I got together on another cooking play date two weeks ago, when we busted out a sampling of recipes for faux Fred’s Steak. Fred’s Steak, a local specially marinated tri-tip from Schaub’s Meat Market, has long been a discussion for Bay Area food folks. We are dying to know how the steak comes out so black and what is in the mystery marinade. Marsha and I thought it would be fun to try to different recipes and put them up against an original Fred’s to see how they fared.

I used a recipe from Chowhound which called for squid ink, not an easy ingredient to locate. Draeger’s came through for me, and if I were to make it again, I would use only about 1-2 tablespoons. Savory Spice Shop has a Black Onyx Cocoa powder which I would also try next time, as it might be able to provide the dark black color needed and I can avoid the squid ink altogether.

Marsha’s recipe was provided by Kim and Pete, and was much easier to put together than the one I tried, with a secret ingredient of Marmite. After the tasting, I think Marsha has some ideas about further recipe refinements, but we both agreed that it is almost just easier to buy the original Fred’s. Certainly after procuring expensive squid ink, I would have to agree!