Last Updated on December 15, 2020
Tri-tip steak is a classic of California BBQ culture, first popularized in Santa Maria on California’s Central Coast. It’s since gone nationwide and is popular for grilling and roasting, although it might still be a newer cut for those on the East Coast.
The triangular cut from the bottom sirloin is lean but flavor-packed and super juicy. Paired with a sweet and spicy mango salsa, this recipe is ideal for the holiday table.
A few tips on the salsa: Heating the onion and garlic briefly mellows the raw edge. You can skip this step if you don’t mind raw onion and garlic. If your mango isn’t very sweet, add honey to the salsa to taste.
The salsa yields 1 1/4 cups – you can make salsa up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Stir, taste and season again before serving if needed.
Chili-Rubbed Tri-Tip with Mango-Jalapeno Salsa
- For the salsa:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ small red onion diced (about 2/3 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 cup diced ripe mango from 1 to 2 mangoes
- 1 small jalapeno pepper seeded and minced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the steak:
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 24- ounce ButcherBox Tri-Tip Roast pat dry
- 2 tablespoons oil for cooking (we like avocado oil)
For the salsa:
- Combine oil, onion and garlic in a small, unheated skillet. Place over low heat and cook until mixture sizzles. Sizzle for 30 seconds, then transfer to a medium bowl to cool.
- Add mango, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice to onion mixture; toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- (Yield: 1 ¼ cups. You can make salsa up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Stir, taste and season again before serving if needed.)
For the steak:
- Combine chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place tri tip in a large baking dish. Sprinkle all over with spice mix, rubbing all of it all over the steak. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 425ºF. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven as it heats. When hot, place skillet on stovetop over high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat skillet. Add tri tip and sear until browned all over, turning occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer skillet to oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer stuck into thickest part of meat reaches 120 to 125ºF, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with salsa.
- For the salsa, heating the onion and garlic briefly mellows the raw edge. You can skip this step if you don’t mind raw onion and garlic.
- If your mango isn’t very sweet, add honey to the salsa to taste.
- The salsa yields 1 1/4 cups - you can make salsa up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Stir, taste and season again before serving if needed.
- Because of the shape of tri tip, you may need to cut it into pieces in order to slice against the grain.
Beth Lipton is a Brooklyn-based recipe developer and food/wellness writer. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Paleo magazine, FoodNetwork.com, Well+Good, and more. She is the former food director at Health magazine and serves as the resident chef at Middleberg Nutrition. Beth is currently working on a cookbook with healthy, animal protein forward recipes.