Two of my favorite local fare are Santa Barbara County wine, and Santa Maria style tri-tip. Tri-tip is said to have originated in the Central Coast, and Santa Maria has now become the home of this kind of barbecue. And Santa Barbara County is home to some of the finest wines in California. Our new 2013 CrossHatch “Depth” is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc that has just the right intensity to balance out the smokey and spicy flavors of tri-tip.
Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip
- 3 lbs. trip-tip
- ⅛ c. paprika
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground black pepper
1. Combine all dry rub ingredients in a container and set aside.
2. Trim the silver skin and fat layer from the tri-tip. Place it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Generously coat the tri-tip with 4 tbsp. of dry rub, 2 tbsp. on each side. Store extra dry rub in a container for later use.
3. Tightly wrap the seasoned tri-tip and refrigerate until ready to use. Allow the rub to settle into the meat for at least 3 hours, up to 3 days.
4. When ready to grill, remove the seasoned tri-tip from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Heat the grill to medium-high if using a gas grill. Place the meat on the grill, searing it on each side for 10 minutes, with the lid open. Turn heat down to medium and close the lid. Allow the meat to cook for about 15-25 minutes. The meat will continue to cook after being removed from the heat, so stop cooking at a temperature a few degrees lower than the desired doneness. (About 135°F for medium rare to medium.)
5. Remove the tri-tip from the grill and allow to rest wrapped loosely in foil for at least 15 minutes before slicing. The foil will catch any juices from the meat, which can be added back to the meat after slicing for more flavor.
6. Thinly slice the tri-tip against the grain. Serve by itself, or as a tri-tip sandwich on a French roll with horseradish, pico de gallo, and BBQ sauce!
recipe adapted from Jessica Gavin