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
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.