August 28, 2003

Tri Tip on the BBQ

I made a "Santa Maria"-style Tri-Tip over the weekend. It's a very flavorful BBQ somewhere between a true (tm) BBQ and a grilled meat item.

Tri Tip is pretty available here in California, but somewhat more difficult to find elsewhere. I also was never really sure what it actually was. The web to the rescue! From the Oregon Beef Council's web site:
"This flavorful beef cut has been one of the beef industry's best kept secrets.   Tri-tip was seldom marketed when carcass beef or beef quarters were delivered to retail markets because there are only two tri-tips per carcass.  This meant that there was not enough for a case display.  Consequently, the butcher would grind or cube it.  Today, most stores receive boneless boxed beef. 
A beef tri-tip roast is a boneless cut of meat from the bottom sirloin.  It also is called "triangular" roast because of its shape.
Tri-tip roasts will vary from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds and are about two inches thick."

I say "Santa Maria"-style because apparently there's actually an AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) that refers to very specific cooking methods and even (geez!) serving it with specific side dishes!.

My method is to rub the tri-tip with a basic BBQ rub and let it sit for around an hour. I then grill it fat side down for 5 minutes, then place it offset in the cooker and cook for 30-45 minutes or until medium-rare. I use heavy smoke (pecan this time) since it isn't on the smoke for all that long. Rest for 20 minutes and slice thin.

I served it on toasted buns with a honey-hot BBQ sauce and cheese. The non-official side dish was a potato salad made with new potatoes, bacon, celery, mustard, and vinegar, thickened by a mayo made from bacon fat and an egg. Sort of half-way between an "American" and "German" style.

Posted by dowdy at August 28, 2003 11:24 AM