Santa Maria Teriyaki Tri-tip
by John Bowen
I have been doing this recipe for 30 years, and have made tri-tip Bar-B-Q for up to 120 people; its always a hit.
First, the marinade, known as John's Leapin' Lizard Teriyaki Marinade:
1 Cup canola oil
1 Cup lower-sodium soy sauce
1 Cup decent red wine (Zinfindel works well)
1/2 Cup tomato catsup
1/4 Cup white (or, if you prefer, apple cider) vinegar
1 Tblsp molasses
1 Tblsp sugar
1 Tsp fresh ground pepper, plus some course-ground
1 Tsp ground ginger (fresh if you have it)
1 Tsp sesame oil (more if you want more Asian zip)
6 cloves minced garlic
Mix all ingredients thoroughly - should make about 40 ounces; unused portions will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.
Place tri-tip roast - trimmed if necessary - in zipper plastic bag, add marinade and refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight). Turn a few times. About 2 hours before grilling, let meat warm to room temperature.
Heat grill to medium-high. Oil grate. Place roast over direct heat to brown for about 5 minutes; turn meat for 5 more minutes.
Turn off gas burner(s) on one side of grill, or pile coals on one side so you can cook indirectly. You can put a drip pan on the "cold" side to collect juices. Cook to desired temp - 125 degrees F (52 degrees Celsius) for rare, turning at least once halfway through; about 30 minutes.
You can add smokey flavor with soaked wood chips(red oak is preferred) in a smoker box (or tin foil) placed down near the burner when you start indirect cooking.
When done, remove to a platter and cover, let meat rest at least 5 minutes, then cut across the grain. Among other things, we call this "poor man's" prime rib. Serve with green salad, ranch dressing, and McClintock's Trail beans. Serve with garlic bread if you have room!
Oh yes; a decent Santa Barbara county wine - Syrah works great.