Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Barbecued Santa Maria Tri-Tip - Black is the New Golden-Brown

The town of Santa Maria, California, is home to one of America's most delicious barbecue specialties - the black-on-the-outside, pink-on-the-inside, grilled beef tri-tip steak. The tri-tip is cut from the bottom sirloin, and if cooked properly produces a very flavorful, extremely juicy piece of beef.

My version isn’t exactly authentic, since I didn't g
rill it over hot coals made from Central Californian red oak. They say it's the red oak that gives this style of barbecue such a great flavor. One day I'll travel down to Santa Maria and taste this for myself, but until then regular hard wood charcoal will do just fine.

One of the signature characteristics of this barbecued beef is the spicy, charred crust outside, and the juicy, medium-rare meat inside. To achieve this we use a very hot grill, along with a continual turning and basting with a garlic and red wine vinaigrette. This basting sauce is another modern addition, as the original relied on just the dry rub and red oak for its flavor - again with the red oak.

Tri-tip a very common cut of meat around these parts, but any butcher worth his or her mustache will be able to cut one of these triangular roasts from the bottom sirloin. If they're confused, just bring in your iPod and play the video for them so they can see what you want.

In Santa Maria this tri-tip is traditionally served with beans, salsa and tortillas, but in the video you'll see the succulent slices sitting next to some unbelievably delicious eggplant Parmesan, which I also filmed and will edit soon. Ye
s, another tease. Enjoy!



Ingredeints:
2 to 2 1/2 lb beef tri-tip roast
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion
powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves crushed garlic

Here are some more delicious video recipes I've filmed on the grill:
Asian-Marinated Skirt Steak
Grilled Paprika Chicken
Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Mint Sauce
Grilled Lemon Yogurt Chicken
Fennel-rubbed Flank Steak with Grilled Oranges

44 comments:

McFly said...

" a little bit of vegetable oil"...how much is a lot then! ahem :)

Pam said...

Oh Chef ... my mouth is SOOOOOoooo watering right now! Fantastic video, as usual for the greatest Chef in the world. <--shameless (but well deserved) panderingI just figured out how to answer my kids & their spouses re: "What do you want for Mother's Day this year?" LOL ...

Me on the phone: "Hello, Bob's Butcher Block? Yes, I'd like to order a couple of tri-tip roasts to be picked up Saturday afternoon. Thanks!"

Chef John said...

I like your style!

Nate-n-Annie said...

Dried rosemary, huh? I usually do it with dried parsley.

I see the fat cap is mostly trimmed off. Did you do that or did the roast come that way?

Chef John said...

it came trimmed, pretty much fat free.

CollegeGourmet said...

Oh Chef John, you really outdid yourself with this recipe. I picked up a tri-tip yesterday knowing this recipe was coming around; can you guess what's for dinner?

jess said...

hmm...as someone from santa maria, im confused by your garlic/ red wine marinade. also, dijon mustard? i think someone lied to you..

Chef John said...

no one lied to me, about tri-tip at least...

did you read the part of the blog where I say that part isn't authentic, or hear me say the same thing in the video? I wasn't saying this was the original recipe - it's my version and the basting adds to the crust I love.

Jay from the bay said...

wow..so do you throw this bad boy on right away when the coals are flaming hot? or do you let it come down a bit? sounds like a real mothers day family bbg treat. thanks chef.

Chef John said...

the hotter the better for me on thin one.

Halden said...

Do you grill this covered or uncovered between turnings?

Chef John said...

uncovered

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for making things difficult.... but I found "Tri Tip Steaks" about 1/3 of a pound each. Obviously I'll cook them a shorter time. Do you think I 'll have any luck?

Chef John said...

won't be the same since they are so much thinner. I'm not a fan of this cut to make steaks, but give it a try, just don't overcook!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
Can you use London Broil instead of Tritip?
Thanks

Chef John said...

it would be OK, but I prefer the TT.

Anonymous said...

Chef, I think Jess has a point. Although you make it clear this is not authentic Santa Maria tri tip, I have to wonder why the video is titled "Santa Maria Tri Tip." It's more than just the red oak and the seasonings too. The real deal is seared and finished over indirect (with a Santa Maria style grill). I generally reverse the process on my kettle, going indirect for about 45 minutes and searing at the end.
Not trying to be a snob or say there's only one way to do it...
but I also wouldn't put ketchup on my ribs and call them Kansas City style.

Chef John said...

Santa Maria Tri Tip simply refers to a bbq'd tri tip, kinda like buffalo wings refers to almost any spicy wings regardless of the recipe. Also called Santa Maria Tri Tip for search engine purposes.

tonkaslim said...

I made this for our anniversary dinner using a large, thick sirloin steak. It was fantastic! I cooked it with the grill closed, turning and basting every three minutes. It only took about 18 minutes for medium rare and I sliced it like London broil.
Whatever anyone wants to call it, this was the best grilled beef we've ever eaten. Thanks Chef.

Christopher Weir said...

Great story and video, Chef John! We have posted a link to it on the Santa Maria Style Barbecue blog published by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce at www.santamariavalleybbq.com. Cheers!

Chef John said...

can i get a key to the City?

Caesar said...

Hey john, if you could i need a quick answer.

It's my grandpas birthday today and we've got our selfs a veil steak, since its different in Sweden its basically the part of what you do rostbeef of.
So I'm wondering if this recipe is possible for that kind of meat?

If its hard or not possible I'm gonna find another of your great recipes and make!

Thanks in advance!

Chef John said...

I'm really not sure. "rostbeef" can be from so many different cuts, so not sure if this would work.

Bickey Man said...

Hey Chef John do you think you could do a similar recipe for a London Broil or is there something better for that???

Chef John said...

i'm doing London Broil this coming week.

Bickey Man said...

Awesome I can hardly wait for that(London Broil) I used your chicken wing recipe for a party and everyone loved. I couldn't take credit for it though so I sent them to your blog. Thanks a ton !

Lauren said...

I've always wanted to know how to cook beef properly. That tri-tip looks mouthwateringly good! Oh my. Can't wait to see your London Broil... my favorite cut!

Chef John said...

Already did it! http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2009/06/cooking-grass-fed-beef-episode-1-top.html

Kelly said...

Thanks for the videos. I grew up in Santa Maria so I can tell you, don't sweat the haters! You could do an absolutely authentic Santa Maria Tri-Tip, and there's always going to be some guy telling you that it's not actually the authentic way of doing it. So, like you, I have cultivated my own variations on the classic (and with it, I will challenge all comers!). I haven't tried basting it as you have here, I may try that sometime as many of my grandpa's (SM) BBQ recipes use oil and red wine vinegar; it's a great flavor for BBQ. One thing I would suggest trying with your rub is some celery salt, I make one similar to what you've got but with celery salt, which adds a great flavor as well.

The only thing I've got to say is, you need a grill where you can raise and lower the grate because it looks like you've got the grill a bit too hot and you need to keep the meat out of the flames...at least I do. I saw the other video where Mr. Righetti was saying something about the flames adding a smoke flavor; I don't think that's accurate. If so, only because the flames are coming from a newly added piece of wood. The flames themselves are not preferable, at least not directly on the meat as in this video here.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

Tammie said...

Cooked this on my smoker seared for about ten on each side them smoked about 40 minutes. Used basting sauce every 15 min. Made for a party everyone thought this was the best you could taste the flavor all the way through. Thanks for the great recipe

Lior said...

thanks for the great recipe, chef john.

tried to find the TT cut in israel, and since butchers in israel apply the german way of dividing the cow (historic reasons)it took me some time to find it
Here it's known as "shpitz shytel" (which means: tip of the rump in yiddish) :-) for all you Israelis out there.

Tracy Tosta said...

They were most definitely not spanish you fool they were portuguese we settled this area ranched this area and still are the life blood of the central coast also i've never growing up all these years never ever has tortillas been the staple it was sourdough garlic bread you rest the tri-tip on the garlic bread like gypsies rest the szalonna and you roast the eggplant zucchini and tomatoes broccoli peaches plums figs clams oysters crawfish mussels squid head soft shell crabs frogs and linguica on the santa maria grill after you take the tri-tip off and the shellfish always finish before the tri-tip is done resting so you eat that and my dad and avo would always baste everything in garlic butter and santa maria seasoning while cooking the tri-tip and always kale soup and beans and hawaiian bread its really portuguese but anyway when you cook you drink beer while you eat you drink madeira and after your done with that a big glass of port and strawberries and cherries then pumpkin pie and brandy this is the way.

Sarah D said...

Hi there, I grew up in Lompoc California... neighbor to Santa Maria. I now live in the UK and had a yearning for a taste of home. I took a diagram to my butcher here and he was able to supply the cut... I used this recipe for the rub and basting sauce (and also the Susie Q Salsa!) and invited another Californian over and it was AMAZING. The food was fantastic and I can't wait to repeat this again!

Lauri said...

Well this cut is just now making an appearance in West Texas. I googled "Tri Tip" and found this recipe which seemed interesting and delicious. It was amazing!! Only difference in Texas...We cook our meat a little on the rarer side.

Looking forward to visiting your site more often.

Robert said...

After seeing your recipe for Barbecued Santa Maria Tri-Tip - Black is the New Golden-Brown I just knew I had to make it. I went down to our local butcher and asked for a Tri-Tip. He said “how do you want it?’. I replied medium rare. We chuckled and he asked me if I wanted the fat left on and I replied, leave a little.

I followed your recipe to the letter. I set my Green Egg to 500 degrees. It was awesome. This will become my new rib eye.

OldGregg64 said...

I have a 3.3 pound tri-tip. Should I add a minute or two to each flip and baste maneuver? My sons and I like rare to medium rare but Mom likes medium to well done. Would the original times give me those results for a 3.3 pound roast??

Chef John said...

The times are only an estimate, so I can't tell you for sure. Use a thermometer!!

Chad said...

This is an excellent rub recipe. I found in my own trials that leaving out the oil mixture produced a better flavor. I also added chili powder, cumin, and dried mustard. Great recipe Chef John!

mesarge@aol.com said...

what recipe would you recommend for London Broil? I want to grill a couple for 4th of July and going to serve your apple jicama slaw with it...

Fire House Chef said...

Chef John...as always, I'll enjoy.

This sounds like a flavorful TT Dry Rub...thank you for sharing.

I added extra garlic and cayenne because I like both and I'm sure this will come out great. The TT is in the fridge chilling with its rub right now and tonight I'll be taking a trip to Grill Town. I just got back from a 3 week trip to East Africa and I'm looking for some crazy good 'ol American BBQ action. I am using some spices I picked up fresh from a spice farm on Zanzibar and this is going to be crazy good.

In that I prefer only a hint of pink in my TT and the beast I'm grilling is a larger cut...I may be considering that after I get a good crust going on to lower the heat and cover with the lid to get the interior cooked on the "well" side of medium well without comprising/over cooking the outer portion of the cut.

Thx again...I'll let you know how to goes...

JameO said...

Chef John, this looks amazing! If I don't have access to a grill do you think this can be done in the over with a cast iron skillet with good results?

Chef John said...

Sure! Just use a probe thermometer.

Bill Bird said...

Hello Chef John,

I've been preparing this recipe for years -- ever since I found it on the "About" website. I have always come back to it. It is simply the best tri tip I have ever tasted.

My wife and I live in Sacramento and we have turned our quarter acre backyard into an all fruit and vegetable garden. Many of the ingredients I use when preparing this marinade come straight from the backyard.

This includes the rosemary, garlic, paprika, etc. It makes the meal that much better. You can't go wrong with fresh ingredients.

I just thought, after so many years of using this recipe, that I told you how good it really is and thank you for posting it up so long ago for all to try.

Bill

Fixit said...

Dear Chef John,

First of all - been a recent subscriber and would just like to say how much I enjoy your videos. Succint, editorially interesting, and occasionally hilarious there are not many chef's I have found that can slim down a recipe to a five minute video without making it about themselves. You always make it about the food.

I made the tri-tip this weekend and couldnt have been happier with the result. Our guests raved and I was able to claim my man card for grilling.

Keep up the good work.