How lucky we are as Americans!
We have nationalistic pride, grit, moxie, an entrepreneurial spirit, and best of all, freedom. Americans are often viewed as wildcatters, cowboys, and trailblazers. We take other people’s ideas and make them our own (think: pizza, hamburgers, French fries…).
While we may not relax as often or as freely as people in other nations, there is one day that is all about fun, family, food and commemorating our national spirit.
The 4th of July is almost always about grilling, too.
Cuts of meat and their names, region to region, can be tricky things. The cut known as tri-tip originated in the central coast region of California in the late 1950s. It was prized for its full flavor, low fat content and reasonable cost, compared to other meats. By the early 1990s, tri-tip was a solid West Coast favorite, sizzling on portable grills all over the beaches of Southern California and its wild popularity continues.
As the Bard confirmed, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” the tri-tip cut is also known as sirloin tip roast, triangle roast or bottom sirloin butt.
Tri-tip is even more delightful if it is marinated for at least four hours prior to cooking. Because the meat is so robust and flavorful on its own, what you use for a marinade really doesn’t matter.
The following recipe for marinated tri-tip roast captures the spirit of “anything goes.” This flavoring will lend a sweet, aromatic crust onto the meat that will only intensify with a hot sear on both sides and then slow grilling.
You simply can’t hurt a tri-tip roast, except by overcooking it.
Behind every great recipe there is a story.
This marinade came to our attention from a loyal customer and fan of 700 South Gourmet Deli and Cafe. Back in the 1990s, our customer dated a man who was a great home chef. He planned a beach barbecue for that evening and decided to marinate a tri-tip. Ever the competitive cook herself, our friend followed him as he tore through the kitchen, grabbing a collection of the most unlikely of ingredients to pour over the roast. As he embarked on this dervish-like mission through the kitchen, she wrote down everything that went into the marinade, wondering how it could ever work.
To this day, that tri-tip roast, grilled on a tiny Weber on the beach, was simply one of the best things she ever tasted.
Sadly, her friend and excellent home chef passed away some years ago, but this isn’t what killed him.
- 2-lb tri-tip roast that has been defatted
- Soy Sauce
- Red Wine
- Orange Peel
- Orange Juice
- Garlic or garlic powder
- Onion or onion powder
- Olive Oil
- Half a squeezed lemon
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Triple Sec or Southern Comfort
- Liquid smoke
- Brown Sugar
- Salt & pepper
- Marinade needs no proportions.
- Using a covered container, marinate your tri-tip roast in this mess, all day, if possible. Drive to the nearest park, lake or beach with your portable Weber in the trunk and your friends tailgating, or simply stroll over to your grill.
- On a hot grill, sear well on both sides until well-marked (about 8 minutes), then lower the heat to medium and grill slowly, 15 to 20 minutes more, turning once, until roast registers at medium rare with a meat thermometer.
- Remove from grill, tent with foil and let roast rest for up to five minutes. Slice the meat across the grain before serving.