Harissa Marinated Top Sirloin Tips

The Ketchup of North Africa

My friend, Jessica, found this recipe on Epicurious. It got 24 rave reviews and 100% of the reviewers would make this recipe again!  I, of course, had to give it a go.

Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce commonly eaten in North Africa whose main ingredients are piri piri (type of chili pepper), serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil. It is a standard ingredient of North African cuisine, most closely associated with Tunisia and Algeria but recently also making inroads into Morocco according to Moroccan food expert Paula Wolfert. Prepared harissa is sold in nearly every style of container, including jars, cans, bottles, tubes, and plastic bags.

Harissa is available at some specialty foods stores and at Middle Eastern markets.

Harissa Marinated Top Sirloin Tips

Serves 6

2 lb top sirloin steak (about 1½ inches thick), fat trimmed
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for brushing
4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tbs (packed) golden brown sugar
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp plus 1 Tbs harissa sauce*

Cut steak lengthwise in half, forming two 2- to 3-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip into 2- to 3-inch triangles. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, thyme, and 2 teaspoons harissa in large bowl; whisk to blend. Add beef; toss to coat evenly. Marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day, tossing occasionally.

Drain beef. Heat 2 heavy large skillets over high heat. Brush skillets generously with olive oil. Divide beef tips between skillets. Cook until well browned on all sides, turning with tongs, 6 to 7 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer beef tips to platter.

Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon harissa, and 2 tablespoons water in small bowl to blend well. Season sauce to taste with salt. Drizzle sauce over beef tips and serve.

* A spicy North African red chile sauce; available in cans and jars at some specialty foods stores and at Middle Eastern markets.


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