Santa Maria style
I have lived North, South, East, West, and even in Hawaii. Everything is different in every region when it comes to food though one thing remains the same...
The Primal and (not so) Basic Instincts regarding meat! I say not so basic, because there is absolutely nothing more appalling than wrongfully prepared meat! This is really simple to avoid: pay attention, season well & only before cooking, don't burn or dry out meat, and you MUST let it REST.
However, no two places do their BBQ the same, and that is all about preference, though all have a “Claim to Fame.” I can truly testify to the Santa Maria style Tri Tip.
My only caveat - No BBQ pit in my NYC apartment - you?
No problem, you won’t notice.
Those of you that do… Perfect this is for you too.
Note: I said Santa Maria Style…of course this is my version… and it is Damn Good!
Step By Step
- Tri Tip - try to get 2 lbs (serves 4-6 easily)
- I have 3 lbs here in 2 pieces.
- Tri Tip is a very lean meat so you don’t want to trim it up, if there's a little extra fat just leave it.
- Rinse well, and pat dry with paper towel.
- The Rub:
- 1 ½ Tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 ½ Tbsp granulated Garlic
- 2 tsp ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- ½ tsp Allspice
- Get your hands dirty! Make sure the entirety of the stake - top, bottom, sides, everything - completely coated so a nice heavy crust forms.
- Put it in the refrigerator as is, for at least 1 hour, 3 is good, overnight is fine but not necessary.
- Note the coffee stains and beautiful crust formed.
5. Pull the meat back out and let it sit for half hour before cooking so that it’s not cold.
- Heat a Cast Iron pan with enough olive oil to coat- OR - your grill, until oil is near smoking.
- Sear meat on all sides well.
- You’ll pay attention to the browning of the meat, and the coating isn’t burnt.
- 4-5 minutes on both sides, 2-3 on thin sides.
Turn heat to Medium (or move to cooler part of grill), and finish cooking - about 6 minutes for for Rare to MR.
- Use an electric thermometer. You want to probe the very center, entering from the side, reaching 140*F for Rare - MR (Which is what I did so you can see.) 150, 165, and so on. At 140*F it takes about 20 minutes per stake.
NOTE: Because this steak is a very lean meat, cooking at a very high temperature - the outside will be cooked well and less and less towards the center.
- REST your steak! Just put it aside and let it rest for at least 15 minutes! This is a complete must! You want the meat to rest, and absorb all those juices back in the meat so it will be super juicy rather than all over your cutting board when you cut.
- Once rested Cut your meat in half. The Tri Tip is called that because it’s shaped like a triangle. The Tri Tip needs to be cut against the grain. It goes one way at the triangle, and another way at the length - so you cut along those lines…
See the lines, you want to cut opposite direction of this.
Tri Tip is cut rather thin because of the texture, though you'll appreciate it's very rich in flavor.
I absolutely loathe people who put salt on a dish before tasting it! It’s cretinous!!!
This dish is perfectly seasoned from the dry rub! You’re ready to serve!
If you truly want to do it Santa Maria Style - serve it with salsa instead of a steak sauce and some kickin chili!
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