Friday, August 27, 2010

Marinades That Rock Your Buds

My Dad was a true blue native California carnivore who liked flavor.  I think that is why he loved to BBQ so much.  Even back in the 50's and 60's I have photos showing him manning his Berquet Grill with his tongs in one hand and his Heniken in the other.  I even have seen my step mothers favorite photo of my dad walking away from the camera with nothing on but an apron with tongs in one hand and a platter of Ribeyes in the other.  I think its strange that as an adult that is one of the fondest images I have in my memory of him.  It kind of sums up who he was. 

One of many favorites from my Dads arsenal of flavor was a Basque marinade.  When we moved away from California it became very hard to come by.  Whenever we visited my Dad we always came home with 6 to 12 of them stuffed in our bags.  Now days, you can just get on the web and order them. I like to order mine from .  They run about 6.50 each.  You can use this with just about any meat.  I've even used it on hamburger a few times and it is just amazing.

Another great treat to blow your taste buds is the famous Santa Maria, CA. Tri-tip marinade.  I was introduced to this by my Dad when I was about 12 and have been in love with it since then.  We traveled allot back then as a family and when we were in the area of Santa Maria, Dad picked up the recipe and has used it hundreds of times for family get togethers and neighborhood party's.

Santa Maria Tri-tip Marinade


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 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves crushed garlic

Rubbing and Rest:

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 24 hours.

After the Rest:

Remove the tri-tip and let sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Add the Dijon, vinegar, and crushed garlic to a blinder , with a lid on and the pour hole open turn on and slowly add vegetable oil until emulsified.

BBQ Away!

Prepare your charcoal or gas barbecue grill. Place the tri-tip on the grill and brush with the oil and vinegar emulsion. 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 recipe.

Remove the tri-tip from the grill to a large platter. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing in 1/4 inch thick pieces across the grain.

Serve as plain or fancy as you feel like but in California restaurants, most often, they will serve this with tortillas and salsa.

The Professional ChefYou will note,  I will often say this over and over in my recipes about resting your meats and cutting across the grain of the meat.  These are important finishing steps when dealing with meats. I recommend reading "The Professional Chef"  By the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).  This book is the standard text book for 1st year Students of the CIA, but the information in this is just priceless when it comes to little simple changes that equal HUGH flavor and quality.  I personally, have in my collection the 7th and the 8th edition.  I reference then often for tips on how to improve my quality and my flavor. 


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