Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My First Tri-Tip Roast


Shortly after I began barbecuing a few years ago, I began reading several forums devoted to the subject and this thing called a tri-tip kept coming up, especially from the westerners. So I began reading about them and paid attention when a couple of cooking shows were devoted to Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip and decided I wanted to try one. I learned there are only two roasts per beef and since I’ve yet to see one in a local grocery store, my assumption is they are all sent to the west coast. But I managed to come into possession of one and we cooked it Sunday for some friends and family.

I used the marinade recipe and cooking method from Patio Daddio , except I used Wicked Good lump charcoal and added small chunks of red oak to my coals to generate the smoke – I seem to remember this to be the preferred wood in the Santa Maria Valley. My understanding is that the purist’s season only with salt, pepper, and garlic salt, but this marinade appealed to me, and who knows when I might get to try another one. I trimmed up the roast, put it in the marinade about 9pm, took it out about 3pm Sunday and let it warm up some on the counter covered until cooking time. Just prior to cooking, I gave it a medium coat of Montreal Steak Seasoning.

I don’t have a Santa Maria style grill (but I think they are way cool) so I prepared my Weber One-Touch for indirect cooking and got it settled to a temperature of 350*, determined by a probe thermometer hanging in the vent holes. I added the first piece of wood with the meat and planned to cook it per Paddio Daddios instructions, except I wanted to do everything 5 degrees cooler. However, it cooked faster than I thought it would and when I went to check it, the temp was at 135, so it never got flipped. I pulled and tented it to rest.

While the roast was cooking, we started the meal with some Crab Cake appetizers using Mary’s recipe from Deep South Dish and served them with her Mississippi Comeback Sauce. I made them per the recipe but forgot the pics – they looked just like hers. The crab cakes and sauce were both big hits (especially with our two Mississippi born and bred friends) and these recipes will be definitely be kept and made again. The sauce looks and tastes a little like 1000 Island dressing without the pickles. I did get a pic of it.

While the meat rested, Wende grilled some shrimp that had been marinated in a Cajun blend from Recipezaar then given a good brushing with melted butter prior to serving. They were for Wende, who has given up red meat for lent, our friend who was dieting, and for anyone else who wanted some. I guess we ended up with surf and turf meal. We used the Comeback sauce for dipping the shrimp. I was carving meat and missed getting shrimp pictures. What does it tell you when I missed getting the crab cake and shrimp photos – cooking and eating are more important to me than photography.

After resting, I sliced the meat ¼” thick and served it with Chris’ (Nibble Me This) horseradish gravy, which was also a hit and some creamy horseradish sauce from Simply Recipes - both on the side. I thought both of them, not together, went well with the meat. Here's a shot of the roast after serving everyone.

For sides, we had one of Bev’s super salads with 1000 island dressing, fresh hot rolls, and twice baked garlic potatoes. This past week, George at A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse made garlic mashed potatoes, and Emily at Marvelous Recipes made garlic twice baked potatoes, both of which we wanted to try. So we made them up a day ahead and used Emily’s twice baked potato idea and Georges mashed potato recipe, with the addition of shredded cheddar to the mix. They were reheated for the meal and were delicious – another keeper. This is prior to reheating.

I just love having access to everyone’s cooking knowledge via your blogs. You may not learn much about cooking here, but as Bev likes to tell people “just read Larry’s blog if you want to know everything that’s going on in our life’s.”

Here’s my plate prior to addition of gravy and sauce and I'll have to say I loved the tri-tip and can now understand it's popularity.

Cooking the meal was pretty simple but we spent a lot of hours making marinades, sauces, pies, bread, salad, margaritas, etc. We were both tired by the time the guests arrived.

The title photo is the first color of Spring here at "Almost Heaven South."

Tomorrow, I’ll post about the outstanding pie Bev made. Have a great day.



  1. What a feast! That steak looks like it's cooked perfectly. Our markets don't carry tri-tips but I can walk into Costco any day and buy a package of two beautiful steaks. I love them.

  2. All I can think to type is, "WOW". This is incredible and i am definitely a meat and potatoes girl!

  3. I'm definitely gonna make the potatoes! They are making my mouth water along with that delicious looking roast! I really have to quit visiting your site when I'm hungry! :)

  4. I personally am glad that the tri-tip shown here, did not make it to the west coast as I can testify to the flavor that was enjoyed by all present.

  5. Well Larry---if your dinner tasted half as good as it looked on the plate, then it must have been fabulous.

    Thanks for sharing... We have 2 inches of snow here today!!! Where's spring???

  6. Yum! I discovered tasty tri-tip when I lived in California . . . to me it was the west coast version of brisket. I LOVE This cut of meat and it looks like you cooked it to perfection. Nicely done!

  7. I was glad to hear that you have had just as hard of a time finding a tri tip. I have been looking for months. Did you find one here or did you have one shipped in?

    This was a great post, it shows the whole point behind food blogging - sharing!

  8. I have to say those shrimp made not eating beef less of a hardship. :) The marinade on them was quite tasty. They were grilled to perfection, if I do say so myself. ;) Everything I had that evening tasted fabulous. The tri-tip had enough praise to assure me it was superb as well. I'd say it was a successful meal.

  9. Hello Big Dude, just saw you over at Betsy's and thought I'd stop by to say hello.

    Do we love our Tri-tip here in the Pacific northwest!? A little olive rubbed over it, a dry rub that is heavy with black pepper, grilled, and it's good to go for almost any occasion; we also like to quickly saute some fresh mushrooms as an accompaniment.

    Your meal looks delicious! and happy to know you like George's garlic mashed that we had several nights ago.


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