Sunday, March 1, 2009

Santa Maria Smoked Tri-Tip

Flavorful tri-tip steak is a cut of beef also known as bottom sirloin or sirloin tip. Compared to other styles of barbecue, this recipe comes together quickly, making it ideal for a weeknight, as well as special dinners.

8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces steak and 1/4 cup salsa)

* 3 cups hickory wood chips
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 (2 1/4-pound) tri-tip steak, trimmed
* Cooking spray
* 2 cups Santa Maria Salsa
* Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain well.

Combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder; sprinkle evenly over steak. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Remove grill rack; set aside. Prepare grill, heating one side to high and one side to medium. Place wood chips on hot coals on medium-heat side of grill; heat wood chips 10 minutes. Coat grill rack with cooking spray; place on grill.

Lightly coat steak with cooking spray. Place steak on grill rack over high-heat side of grill; grill 6 minutes, turning 3 times. Place steak on grill rack over medium-heat side of grill; grill 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140° (medium-rare) or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from grill; let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve with Santa Maria Salsa; garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Wine note: Tri-tip from California's Santa Ynez Valley goes naturally with a full-throttle merlot from the same region. Gainey Merlot 2004 (Santa Ynez Valley, California), $26, is plush and plummy, with enough structure to stand up to the steak, the char-smokiness of the wood chips, and the pungency of the salsa. --Karen MacNeil.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 259 (46% from fat)
Fat: 13.1g (sat 4.8g,mono 6.9g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 30.9g
Carbohydrate: 2.6g
Fiber: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 66mg
Iron: 3.9mg
Sodium: 544mg
Calcium: 26mg

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross


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