67938_284433281683507_1225025972_n - CopyIt surprised me to learn that one of my non-native California friends didn’t know what Santa Maria Style Tri-tip was. See, I grew up in the Tri-county area of California. The cut of beef known as tri-tip was a staple when our family was hosting backyard barbecues. My mom would either marinate it in an Asian sauce or just add a dry rub. The dry rub style is what is popularly known as the Santa Maria Style tri-tip. There are different variations of the rub. But, it essentially is salt, pepper and garlic powder. Tri-tip is usually grilled. But, I sometimes just prepare it in an oven. Makes great sandwiches the next day.

2 to 2 1/2 lb. beef tri-tip roast
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves crushed garlic

Combine the black pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub on to all surfaces of the tri-tip. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. Remove and let sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature. Add the Dijon, vinegar, vegetable oil, and crushed garlic to a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until emulsified. Prepare your charcoal or gas barbecue grill. Place the tri-tip on the grill and brush with the oil and vinegar mixture. Turn every 3-4 minutes, basting generously each time. Grill for 25-30 minutes for medium-rare (internal temp of 135 degrees F.). The outside of the roast will get very dark and develop a charred crust, this is desired and one of the signature characteristics of this barbecue recipe. Allow the meat to stand for 15 minutes before carving. Carve by slicing the meat into thin slices across the grain.