Behind the Boards: Timbaland with Red Wine-Braised Tri-tip

Playlist: Behind the Boards: Timbaland —

Timbaland is back from an unhealthy hiatus with new productions for Justin Timberlake, among others. This playlist of his earlier hits for Jay-Z, Ludacris, Madonna, and so many more definitely got my Apple Watch activity up. Just try channeling Channing during Ginuwine’s “Pony” while prepping your veggies — I’ll bet you never felt so sexy slicing an onion before! Also, celery stalks make great elephant trunks when you want to trumpet along with Missy Elliot’s “Work It.”

For my dish, I’ve chosen to braise a tri-tip, and since I’ve never done that before and trust them more than anyone, I used Bon Appetit’s recipe as a guide. Here I’ve written things out the way I did them, including letting the dish chill overnight to let the flavors really develop.

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Original recipe: Red Wine-Braised Brisket

Ingredients + Tools

  • 1 5-lb tri-tip (or brisket, or other roast)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil (enough to cover bottom of pot)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks with leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (my fave: Cento San Marzano Organic Peeled Tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 750 ml bottle Cabernet (or other bold red wine)
  • Large, oven-safe pot w/ lid (like my Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Round Dutch Oven; Plate; Tongs; Wine bottle opener; Can opener; Ladle or large spoon; Large bowl w/ lid


  1. Turn on music, set iWatch Activity to “Dance” or “Other.” Pull out everything you’ll need, to optimize your flow; Finding things in cabinets throughout the cooking process could inhibit your dance moves. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Season tri-tip with salt and pepper. On the stove, heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium-high. Cook tri-tip, turning occasionally with tongs, until browned all over, 8–10 minutes (This is plenty of time to prep your onions and celery, open your wine and tomatoes, etc); Transfer tri-tip to a plate. Pour off fat from pot (The original recipe says to discard it, but I saved it to season veggies later).
  3. Place onions, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, tomatoes, tomato paste, and wine in pot and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Place tri-tip on top, fat side up. Cover and braise in oven, spooning juices, onions, and tomatoes over brisket every 30 minutes, until meat is fork-tender, 3–3 1/2 hours. This is where the timer on your iWatch comes in really handy; Tell Siri to set a timer for 30 minutes, then simply press “repeat” until this process is through. If you want to serve this immediately, see original recipe; otherwise, go to step 4.

  4. Transfer tri-tip to a large bowl and pour braising liquid over; let cool in sauce. Cover and chill, at least 4 hours and up to 4 days. I used the biggest glass bowl I own with one of these handy Silicone Stretch Lids (don’t spend all day cooking just to throw your hard work into nasty plastic). If you’re done dancing, stop your Activity tracking and see if Timbaland did you right.

  5. To serve the next day or the next or the next: Preheat oven to 325°. Pull out your nice big oven-proof pot again; cover and reheat tri-tip in sauce, 1 hour, then continue uncovered for another 30 minutes. Remove tri-tip from pot and slice against the grain to serve. You have a gooey, delicious mess left in the pot; I served it like a side of tomato chutney (Make sure you pull out the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and celery stalks first), and also drizzled a nice, bright EVOO over everything once at the table.



Although not on today’s playlist, I am loving Justin Timberlake’s new funky, glitchy track, “Filthy,” which utilizes Timbaland. They make such a great combo, and I can’t wait to hear more from both of them.

Notice that I didn’t include a tablespoon in your Tools, because I trust you to guesstimate the right amount, and a little more or less won’t make or break this dish.

I like to go easy on salt and pepper in my cooking, because it can be added at the table. You can’t take salt away!

I’d love to share my calories burned and such, but I totally forgot to start tracking my Activity, d’oh!

I will definitely use this recipe again, but am going to play with it more. My partner said that the dish needed a little sweetness… I had taken carrots out of the original recipe, since they aren’t LCHF friendly; the carrots would probably have added the sweetness he desired. Or, I’m wondering if I could use a slightly sweeter red wine to get the same result, so that I don’t waste root veggies. Or, maybe I should have kissed him in between bites. Thoughts?


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