Santa Maria Tri Tip with Chimichurri

Tri Tip, which comes from the bottom of the sirloin, is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat which, when cooked properly, is both succulent and delicious. Traditionally, it’s served with grilled garlic bread, salsa, and pinquito beans – but feel free to serve it with whatever you like!

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For the Tri-tip

  1. 1 Tri-tip steak, around 2.5 lbs, well trimmed and fat cap removed
  2. 2 tablespoons-ish extra virgin olive oil
  3. Santa Maria Rub*
  4. Wood chips (optional)

For the Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 1 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley, leafless part of stems removed
  • 4-6 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced into a chunky paste
  • 1 heaping tablespoon powdered dry oregano (I actually prefer the powdered version better for this recipe as it mixes into the sauce more easily)
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper, or any crushed red pepper flakes (or less, if you want to tone it down)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2-3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2-3 grinds each sbetagt and freshly ground pepper
  • About 1/2 cup olive oil

*Santa Maria rub can be made in any desired amount, keeping the above proportions the same, and stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months at room temperature

**Sumac is a Mediterranean spice that isn’t traditional in West Coast BBQ, but it’s spectacular on grilled meats and hearty summer salads. It imparts an earthy, lemon-zesty flavor.


For the Tri Tip

  1. Set up your grill for two-zone cooking. Temperature at grate-level on the cooler side should be between 275°F and 325°F. If using wood chips/chunks, place them over the hot side of the grill at this time.
  2. Rub tri-tip with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then evenly distribute Santa Maria Rub all over tri-tip (it should look like it got rolled on coarse sand when you’re done)
  3. Place tri-tip on grate over direct heat (hot side) with the lid open, and grill until lightly charred in spots and somewhat brown, 5-7 minutes. Flip over and repeat.
  4. Transfer tri-tip to cooler side of the grill
  5. Insert a probe thermometer into the deepest part of the tri-tip. Close the lid, and cook tri-tip until probe registers 132°F for medium-rare (at 275°F, this will take about 45 minutes to an hour)
  6. Leaving thermometer inserted, remove tri-tip to cutting board, and allow to rest until temperature stops climbing and drops by a degree or two (around 20 minutes)

For the Chimichurri Sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT olive oil into a food processor or blender.  Hit ‘pulse 5 or 6 times to give everything a few good chops. 
  2. Add about 1/3 of the olive oil and hit pulse 5 or 6 more times.  Then, with the motor running, slowly drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture until desired consistency is achieved. 
  3. Pour into a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Can be made up to two days in advance.

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