Tri Tip roast (look for one greater than 2lbs)
Oakridge Santa Maria seasoning
I think one of my new favorite cuts of beef is Tri-Tip. I noticed recently my butcher started carrying it more frequently and I kept seeing recipes pop up online so I knew I had to try it.
Over the past year I have been cooking it like a regular steak. Reverse sear (or sous vide) then hit it on a scorching hot grill to put the sear on. That has worked well thus far but I wanted to see what a little smoke would do to this great cut of beef.
Last week I was in Wegmans and although I try to stick to my butcher for my meats they had a beautiful well marbled piece of Tri-Tip, so I picked it up.
Tri-Tip is apparently very popular in California for reasons I am not sure so I figured I would use some Oakridge Santa Maria seasoning on it. I actually then read the back of the bag and it specifically states it is meant for Tri-Tip as well as other cuts. This was funny because I actually use this stuff on my holiday turkeys and it comes out fantastic, but that is a recipe for another day.
For this fine piece of meat I wanted to get is smoked to an internal temp of between 135 and 140 degrees going low and slow with a pit temp of about 250. Now some of you may like your beef more rare and some may want more done but that’s where I like mine.
I used my Yoder YS1500 for this smoke mainly because it is the easiest smoker and for a short smoke like this there is no waiting around for charcoal to heat up or white smoke to clear. Once finished I topped this with a Red Romesco sauce.
Many go with a Chimichurri here but I love the Red Romesco on beef. The recipe follows. I cannot tell you in words just how fantastic this came out. You just have to try for yourself and then I can say “I told you so.”
You can watch the video tutorial here:
1. Head out to you smoker and get it fired up. For this cook I used my Yoder YS1500 and set it to 250 degrees. I used Hickory pellets which I would not typically use for beef but I wanted to try out a new brand called The Smoker’s Dream.
2. While your smoker comes up to temp take your Tri-Tip out of the refrigerator and if it’s in cryovac like mine was get it out. On a cutting board take any large chunks of fat off. We’re not trimming too much here but large chunks are not going to render and you cannot get seasoning under it. Also remove any silverskin from the surface.
3. Although I did not do this on the video I do like a light sprinkle of some Kosher salt all over the piece of meat. The rub we are using is not very coarse or salty so this added a little of both. After the salt has had a minute to set on the surface add a good dusting of Oakridge Santa Maria. If you don’t have it you can always just go with salt and pepper here or a steak seasoning you like but the Santa Maria is really nice on this.
4. Once your smoker is up to temp and your meat is well seasoned get a temperature probe into it. You really want to monitor internal temp here so you know exactly when to take it off. If you don’t have one then start checking your internal temps at the 1 hour mark to make sure you don’t overshoot your target and end up with dry steak. If you are in the market for a meat thermometer and want a good long wireless range try this one out: Maverick Range Wireless Smoker.
5. Throw your Tri-Tip on the grate and close your smoker. It’s time to let the smoke do the work now.
6. My piece of meat was a little thin so I hit 137 in the thickest part in about an hour and 15 minutes. At this point I took the Tri-Tip off the smoker and wrapped it tight in aluminum foil. I let it sit on a cutting board wrapped up real tight for about 20 minutes to rest.
7. Once the meat is rested get your slicer out. Here is what I use to get perfect slices – the Victorinox Wide Roast Beef Slicer. Start making about ¼ inch slices across the grain. Keep an eye on the direction of the grain on these Tri-Tips. They tend to change directions a little.
8. Once sliced go ahead and have a taste. I took a piece with no sauce on just to see how great it was and then I added that Romesco. It was unbelievable. Perfect amount of smoke and cooked to the perfect temp.
Nutrition facts: 4 oz serving, Calories 219; Fat 11g; Carbohydrates 0g; Fiber 0g; Sugar 0g; Protein 29.9g
Red Romesco Sauce
Makes 1.5 cups
1 large roasted red bell pepper (I got mine from the jar, no need to roast your own here)
1 garlic clove, smashed
½ cup slivered almonds (toast them if you have time to bring out more flavor)
¼ cup tomato puree
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1.5 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar (really no substitute for this, it is a spanish sauce and this is a spanish vinegar)
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients except oil, salt and pepper into food processor and run until finely chopped. With the motor running slowly add the olive oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Make this sauce up to a week ahead. I highly recommend at least making a day to two days ahead to allow the flavors to blend together in the refrigerator and then take it out and bring to room temp before using.
Nutrition Facts: Serving size 1 Tbsp; Calories 50; Fat 6g; Carbohydrates 1g; Fiber 1g; Sugars 0g; Protein 0g