Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip
- One Beef Tri Tip 2 to 3 inches thick, weighing about 3 pounds
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- Tablespoon Ground black pepper
- Tablespoon Garlic powder
- Tablespoon Onion powder
- Dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
- 1 teaspoon Dried Sage
- 2 Tablespoons capers
- 2 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 2 tsp chopped oregano (fresh)
- 2 each preserved lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
Directions for the Steak:
- Combine all spices in a bowl and mix well.
- Generously rub the entire steak with all of the spice mixture.
- Let marinade a minimum of 4 hours and as long as 24 hours
- Bring the steak to room temperature before cooking. Maybe 1 hour out of the refrigerator.
- Light a hardwood charcoal fire in a grill and place the grill rack about 4 inches from the heat.
- When the flames have died down and the coals are glowing bright red, place the steak over the heat. Allow it cook, without moving it, until the underside is well-browned 10 minutes.
- Turn the steak with tongs and cook until the second side is well browned and the meat is rare at the thickest part. (If you like, you may judge the doneness of the steak with an instant reading meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. The steak is cooked rare when the thermometer reads 120° F.
- Transfer the steak to a carving board, letting it rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Directions for the Lemon Chimi Churi:
- Rinse capers in cold running water, pat dry and chop
- Pick parsley, rinse under cold water, pat dry and mince then measure
- Pick oregano, rinse under cold water, pat dry and mince then measure
- remove lemon from preserved water, cut into wedges and using a very sharp knife, place on a cutting board skin side down, run blade over lemon removing all pith and pulp (no white at all)
- Mince lemon peel finely
- Combine all ingredients together and stir
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR USING A MEAT THERMOMETER WHEN GRILLING STEAK?
Chef Sam: I always say, it it’s 2-3 lbs or larger, use a meat thermometer. It’s a simple formula: 135 degrees = rare, 145 degrees is medium rare. But understand that when you take the steak off at a certain temperature it will continue to rise. If you want a 135 degree steak (rare) take it off the grill at 130 degrees because it cooks a little bit during the resting period. General rule: take the steak off 5 degrees less than desired final temperature.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO “REST” YOUR STEAK?
Chef Sam: I rest everything except fish (chicken, burgers, sausages). Resting is what really gives your steak the right texture. The heat from the grill causes the meat to tense up, get tight, and congealed. So If I cook a steak and eat it 1 minute after I’ve taken it off the grill all the juices will flow right out of it. If you let the meat rest, it lets all of the juices and flavor calm down and redistribute flavor throughout the piece of meat.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO MAKE THAT MUCH FOOD, WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR COOKING INDIVIDUAL STEAKS?
Chef Sam: You don’t need to use a meat thermometer for individual steaks, it’s like a math equation. If you’re grilling individual steaks (8-14 oz) flip them every minute. 6 flips = rare, 8 flips = medium rare, 10 flips = medium, 12 flips = medium well, 14 flips = well done.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “SLICE AGAINST THE GRAIN?”
Chef Sam: You can see the grains of the steak- the lines on the eat going lengthwise. If you slive with the grain you get long chewy pieces but if you slice against the grain, you get tiny pieces that are tender and succulent. Tri Tip is one of those steaks that completely changes the texture depending on how it’s cut and served.
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