Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Reverse Seared Tri-Tip and Tri-Tip Cobb Salad

Three proteins?  That's my kind of salad!

Alexis and I made this Tri-Tip Cobb Salad for dinner this week.  It's not really an authentic Cobb salad...maybe Cobb-ish?  Whatever you want to call it, it's delicious.  It features:
  • Reverse-seared beef tri-tip.
  • Home-cured & smoked sorghum bacon (a recipe from our second book)
  • Homemade yeast roll croutons
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Sliced tomato
  • French fried onions
  • Spring mix
  • Homemade blue cheese dressing  

Tri-tip Cobb Salad or Steakhouse Salad

I had been craving beef tri-tip recently because Dan Phelps posted one that he cooked on his Kamado Joe at Learning To Smoke.  I mentioned to him that I hadn't seen tri-tip in the Knoxville area in quite a while and then BAM!  The very next week, I stumbled across a tri-tip!  The Baader-Meinhof effect for meat, perhaps? 

Santa Maria tri-tip rub recipe from Certified Angus Beef® Brand
I have had a jar of Santa Maria tri-tip rub that I made at the Certified Angus Beef® Brand Culinary Center last year.

Beef tri-tip seasoned with Santa Maria rub recipe from Certified Angus Beef Brand
I lightly coated the tri-tip with avocado oil and then liberally applied the Santa Maria rub all over. A lot of people ask me about avocado oil.  It is a high-temperature cooking oil that's excellent for grilling.  It has a neutral flavor, much like olive oil doesn't taste like olives, and peanut oil doesn't taste like peanuts.

Big Green Egg in a Challenger Designs Torch 42 table and BGE Mini-Max on a utility cart.
My weapons of choice this day were my large Egg in the Challenger Designs cart, and I used the Mini-Max to fire roast a couple of potatoes.  Before you comment, yes, that Egg is out of alignment.  I need to get new rings, those are 10 years old, and they just won't hold for long.  I've been avoiding dealing with that.  When it matters, I use the other Egg in the BGE table, which is newer and in better condition.

Big Green Egg set up for reverse searing a tri-tip
You could use a convEGGtor and standard rack, but I used a slightly different set up to make the reverse-sear easier.  I have my cast iron grates on the bottom so that they are pre-heating during the "smoke" part of the reverse-sear.  On top, I have an adjustable rig, and I put a heat stone/drip pan on the lower rack creating my indirect setup.  That way, when it's time to sear, I just pull out the Adjustable Rig, and I don't have to handle a hot convEGGtor.

Beef tri-tip roasting on a large Big Green Egg.
I slow roasted the tri-tip at 275°f until it reached an internal temperature of 125°f.  That took a little over an hour.  

Thermoworks Smoke has a max temp data logger so you know when the carry over cooking has stopped.
I pulled the tri-tip and let it rest.  I used a Thermoworks Smoke remote probe thermometer to watch the carry-over cooking.  Once it peaked and began to fall, I knew that the roast was ready to sear.  The rest is a crucial step in the reverse-sear method.  It dissipates the energy doing the cooking and keeps you from overshooting the temperature during the sear portion of the cook.

Searing a tri-tip roast on a Big Green Egg with Craycort Cast Iron Grates
While the tri-tip was resting, I removed the Adjustable Rig and opened the lower vent to get the coals red hot.  The Egg was running about 550°f at this point.  I seared it about one minute per side and then hit the edges.

Certified Angus Beef Brand has 10 science based standards that makes their beef the best angus beef #bestangusbeef
Just like my steaks, I always rest roasts on a resting rack.  This trick avoids trapping heat between the meat and a counter surface, which will steam the meat, causing it to lose more juices.  Try it yourself sometime.  Cook two steaks, place one on a rack, and the other on a plate.  Compare the juices lost after 5 minutes and you will see the difference.

Beef tri-tip roast cooked on a Big Green Egg using the reverse sear technique
Beautiful and crispy on the outside....

Beef Tri-tip roast cooked on a Big Green Egg kamado grill.
...tender and juicy on the inside!

Beef tri tip with chimichurri
The first night, we ate it with a robust chimichurri - fantastic.

I daydreamed the salad up while at work, waiting on a server to restart.  I knew I had the tri-tip at home, and I started thinking of a "steakhouse salad."  It was so good that we ate it two nights in a row.

Beef Tri-Tip Cobb Salad

You don't need a recipe for the salad, you can figure it out just by looking.  For the croutons, I cut up a yeast roll, tossed the cubes in garlic butter and roasted them at 400°f on a quarter sheet pan.   Here is the blue cheese dressing recipe that we use.

Blue Cheese Dressing 
  • 1 cup Duke's Mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half 
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.