Tuesday, July 31, 2012

santa maria style tri tip

IMG_3606 IMG_3612 IMG_3619 IMG_3622 IMG_3625 This is one of the best and easiest recipes in my arsenal. I make this Santa Maria style tri tip whenever we have people over for dinner (matter of fact, I should probably come up with something new to make before people catch onto that...). When I made this over the weekend, I served it with some Cilantro Lime Grilled Shrimp for a California style surf 'n turf along with a grilled salad composed of chopped carrots, bell peppers, and a maui onion. 

Because I have definitely had to perfect my tri tip grilling skill through trial and error (I have caught one on fire and overcooked a couple), so I wanted to share my hard-earned keys to success my favorite cut of beef.

On a side not, one thing that my mother taught me when I first moved into my own apartment was to talk to the butchers where I bought my meat. This was a great piece of advice as butchers are some of the friendliest people working in any grocery store (does that seem odd to anyone else...?). If you buy whole chickens to grill or roast in pieces, the butcher will cut them into pieces for you in any way that you like. Most butchers will also season meat for you (I have never tried this one, but I probably should). The butcher can tell you how much meat you should buy for a dinner party (on Sunday I told him that I was feeding four people and wanted to have leftovers). They will also give you pointers on how to prepare different cuts of meat along with the do's and don'ts of handling those cuts. Since I've been shopping at the same markets on the same days at the same time each week for the last two years, the butcher has become familiar with my shopping habits and will make sure that I know when certain things are on sale so that I can stock up. Did I mention that all of these services are usually free?

So, the moral of that whole story is: if you eat meat, talk to your butcher! And then make this:

Santa Maria Style Tri Tip
Serves as many as you need it to
  • Tri Tip Roast
  • Salt (I used Himalayan Pink Salt this time, but I usually use sea salt)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
Turn all burners of your grill on high and put the lid down. You want it to get nice and hot in there. 


Here's how easy this is: sprinkle salt and pepper (as much or as little as you like) on the fat side of the roast. Then sprinkle with garlic powder liberally--you want to form a crust on the outside of the roast.. Pat the spices into the meat, flip over and repeat on the other side. Don't forget about the edges of the roast! I usually flip it over again and sprinkle a little more garlic powder on it to cover the spaces that were "messed up" during the flipping. 


Now, turn one side of your grill off, and turn the other side down to low. Place the roast on the grill fat side down first on the side of the grill with no direct flame and close the lid. Cook for 15 minutes, flip, then cook on the other side for another 15 minutes. Turn the one side of the grill up to medium-high heat, flip the roast, and cook for another 15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 135 degrees. I like my tri tip prepared medium rare, so you may want to add or subtract cooking time for your preference. Remove the roast from the grill and tent with tin foil for 15 minutes. Enjoy! 

In the words of Ina Garten: "How easy is that?"

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

Yum! Tri Tip is one of the things I miss most about California. Thanks for the bbq tips! Looks delicious.

Rachel Angevine said...

Can you get tri tip in Texas? I know when we moved to Michigan my mom couldn't buy tri tip anywhere--the butchers there didn't even know what it was! But, that was like 10 years ago. And, Texas seems like a state that would be on top of something like tri tip...