Tri-tip roast, also known as a Santa Maria steak, is a great cut of meat because of its rich beef flavor and tender texture, when properly prepared and sliced across the grain
1. Sprinkle meat with rub and massage lightly all over. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator an hour before cooking. Or skip the overnight and just apply the rub, before letting it rest on the counter for an hour. [You can make a simple rub with 2 teaspoons each salt, pepper and garlic powder. To add excitement, optionally mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon each onion powder and dried rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder.]
2. Prepare charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high. Place roast on grill and sear each side well, 6 to 8 minutes, checking for flare-ups. Then lower gas to medium-high or move the meat to a cooler part of the charcoal grill.
3. Turn meat again and cook another 8 to 10 minutes. Flip and cook again. The roast is ready when an instant-read thermometer reaches 130 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
4. Rest roast on a cutting board 10 to 20 minutes. Slice against the grain. The roast is shaped like a boomerang, which is a unique feature of this cut, so either cut it in half at the center of the angle, or slice against the grain on one side, turn the roast and slice against the grain on the other side.
• To sear and roast in the oven: prepare meat with rub and refrigerate as instructed. Heat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heading, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or other cooking oil to a large, heavy ovenproof pan. On stovetop, heat on high until pan is very hot, then add tri-tip, fat side down. Turn heat to medium-high sear on each side for 4 minutes. Turn the roast and put it in the oven. Cook it for about 10 minutes a pound, checking with an instant-read thermometer until it reaches 130 degrees for medium-rare.
• Lazy can be good: Skip the searing. Put your favorite dry roast rub on it, wrap it in foil and put it in the oven at 250 for about 3 hrs…low and slow until 130 degrees.