Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nom Nom Nom....Tri -Tip!!!

Do you have Tri-Tip in your area?

Do you know what Tri-Tip is? 

"The tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin primal cut. It is a small triangular muscle, usually 1.5 to 2.5 lbs. per side of beef. In the United States, this cut was typically used for ground beef or sliced into steaks until the late 1950s, when Otto Schaefer marketed it in Oakland, California. Shortly thereafter, it became a local specialty in Santa Maria, California, rubbed with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and other seasonings, cooked over red oak wood and roasted whole on a rotisserie, smoked in a pit, baked in an oven, grilled, or braised by putting a pot on top of a grill, browning the meat directly on the grill surface before and after the braising. (The tri-tip is still often labeled the "Santa Maria steak".) Most popular in the Central Coast of California and Central Valley regions of California, it has begun to enjoy increasing popularity elsewhere for its full flavor, lower fat content, and comparatively lower cost."

Here's a pic from Wiki too:

I grew up in California and we always had Tri-Tip, my Dad cooked them all the time. It wasn't until I moved to Kansas that I found out it was a regional thing....... I noticed that there wasn't any in the stores so I asked the butcher if he had any and he said, "What's that?". I tried explaining that it was a large roast with a fatty side and it was triangle shaped with 3 tips. None of the stores knew what I was talking about.

I had never cooked one myself but I sat or stood at the kitchen counter watching my Dad season them for years and watching him cook other things too. Since I moved away when I was 19 he hadn't really eaten much of my cooking, but he loved my baking. He'd go BBQ the meat and I'd cook the side dishes, chop stuff, stir stuff, do the inside work. The first time he visited me I BBQ-ed chicken and he said "Man, you're a good cook! This taste better than my chicken, where'd you learn this from?" I smiled and said, "From watching you!" :)

This is a CA Tri-Tip cooking on my Dad's grill, there is two of them there. But notice the shape, that's where it gets it's name from.

I saw Tri-Tip Steaks for sale in MA and I asked the butcher if I could buy the steaks uncut. He said they had a roast and showed it to me.  They are not as big as the ones in CA and they are a lot leaner too. He showed me the fresh cuts and for whatever reason they don't have the big ones here. He said they are not real popular here and no one would buy them if they had more fat on them....... I laughed and said but that's the best part that keeps them juicy and adds flavor while on the grill. He agreed with me. 

They had them labeled as "Oven Roasts" with the label saying Sirloin Tri-Tip Roast. So I'm thinking maybe some people just don't know what to do with them and cook them totally in a oven or put them in a crock pot. Sure they are good that way too but they are much better with crispy outsides!

Since these have less fat on them I melted some butter and a little olive oil in the bottom of my grill pan, seasoned the Tri-Tip and seared both sides and the edges to lock in the flavor and moisture.

If you turn them on the sides like this to brown all the edges, just watch out that they don't fall over and splash hot grease on you.

Then when the outsides were all seared, I put them in a baking pan.

Added more seasonings and put some extra butter on the top of them so they wouldn't dry out.

Covered the pan in foil and put them in the oven to finish cooking.
 I really need to get my grill assembled......

They smelled sooo good!

Ready to cut into it.

I had to resist tasting a piece before I was done cutting it. 

 The finished product ready to eat.

It was very good!!! Nom Nom Nom!!!!!!
(and that's a salad plate, not a dinner plate by the way. People often ask me about my portion sizes so I try to include that my meals are always on salad plates unless I state otherwise. I didn't watch portion sizes in the beginning, it just happened over time the closer I got to goal.)

My oldest dog was standing there crying at me hoping to get a bite. He did not get any Tri-Tip but he did get a doggie cookie.... LOL

So..... the final verdict, was it as good as my Dad's???

It's almost as good as my Dad's...... Almost. :)
Since this is my first time cooking a Tri -Tip and I used a grill pan and a oven instead of a BBQ grill...... I'm gonna be so bold as to say that he's a good teacher and if I tried enough I bet I could beat his Tri-Tip..... Look out Dad!!! <3
(Of course I only say that now that I'm grown and he can't ground me anymore). LOL


  1. Tri-tip is one of my low carb staples here in Orange County (but I had never seen or heard of one until I moved to CA!)

  2. Never heard of it, but I bet you and your dad have a very special relationship.

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