Santa Maria Style Tri Tip

When I was strolling through Whole Foods last week, my husband Pete and I stumbled upon some tri-tip roast on sale.  Since we all know I can’t resist a sale, we took it home with us, and fortunately for me, my new favorite cookbook Ad Hoc at Home happened to have a recipe for Santa Maria Style tri-tip.  Santa Maria is a town in California that is famous for making this relatively cheap piece of meat a star in their BBQs.   The tri-tip is a well marbled piece of meat with really good flavor, and it’s perfect thinly sliced for sandwiches or just in its own glory.  Here’s how:
Yield: Serves 6

2.5 lb tri-tip roast
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle chile pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
sea salt
vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 rosemary sprig
1 garlic clove, smashed with the skin left on

A day ahead of time, trim all the silverskin from the meat.

Combine the pepper, chipotle chile pepper, and paprika and rub it all over the meat.  Wrap the meat tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a day, so the spices can penetrate and flavor the meat.

Thirty minutes before you plan to cook the meat, take it out of the refrigerator.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and set a baking or roasting rack on top of a sheet tray or roasting pan.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season very generously with salt on all sides.  You will need to season much more than you think.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat, and when the oil shimmers, sear the meat for 2 minutes on the first side.  Turn the meat over, then add the butter, rosemary, and garlic, and brown the second side for another 2 minutes.

As it browns, tilt the pan and use a spoon to baste the top of the meat with the rosemary garlic butter.  Transfer the meat to the rack and place the rosemary and garlic clove on top.

Roast the meat for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 135 degrees F.  Let the meat rest for 30 minutes before slicing, so the juices can redistribute.  Cut the meat into thin slices and enjoy!

Click here for the printable recipe.

Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip.

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16 Responses to Santa Maria Style Tri Tip

  1. Jess says:

    Oh gosh, that looks so good! Mmmm! If you don’t mind me asking, what was the price per pound you paid?

  2. I can’t believe I’ve never had tri-tip before. I know I must be crazy because this looks absolutely delicious. Yup, I’m so hungry right now 🙂

  3. Wow, that is just perfectly cooked.

  4. And what Kay’s never had tri-tip. Get thee to a BBQ!

  5. We love smoking tri tip in our house – yum:) Thanks for sharing!

  6. Mmm, love tri-tip! Did you find it very hot? I know chipotle chili powder is pretty spicy. Looks delish!

    • Joanne Ozug says:

      Hi Valerie, No it wasn’t hot at all actually, which was surprising. The chipotle chili powder I find to be more smoky and flavorful than spicy, but I guess that’s because I’m comparing it to the cayenne that is also in my pantry LOL.

  7. I LOVE that cookbook! Have you tried the braised chicken thighs with fennel yet? That’s my favorite so far!!

  8. CherylK says:

    I can hardly wait to try this!! And not just because I love Santa Maria – ha! (which I do.)

  9. Love that marinade. Wow only 6 dollars a pound? Here in HK that would have been at least a million dollars. Food is very expensive here.

  10. Nydia says:

    Ummmm…looks so perfect, I like when it has that pink color, makes it very juicy.

  11. andy1076 says:

    That looks so delicious 🙂 🙂

  12. rsmacaalay says:

    Wow what a perfectly cooked beef!

  13. There might not be a tons of reasons to stop in Santa Maria, but produce and trip tip is top on my list. 🙂

    Hope you have some of that tri tip left, because you’re going to want to make the tri tip burger recipe I just posted today!

  14. magicofspice says:

    Beautifully prepared tri tip and fantastic step by step 🙂

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