A Santa Maria-style grill has a hand crank that raises or lowers the grate over the coals. I bought a smaller version one from Ebay that fits perfectly over the bottom section of our 22.5" Weber Smoky Mountain smoker and it works great. Traditional accompaniments are Pinquito beans, salsa, and grilled, buttered French bread (and sometimes, Linguica sausage).
Two 2 1/2 lb. Tri-Tip roasts
2 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. dried parsley
1. Combine all the rub ingredients together in a bowl.
2. About 1 hour before grilling, take the trip-tips out of the frig and let them come to room temperature (that way they will cook evenly on the grill).
3. About 30 minutes to right before grilling, blot the trip-tips dry with paper towels and generously season with the rub on all sides.
4. Place charcoal briquets to your grill and add newspaper or kindling to light them (or you can use a chimney). Once the briquets are burning, add wood chunks or splits. I bought red oak splits from www.fruitawood.com as these give the trip-tips their distinctive mild-sweet-smoky flavor. Short of that, you can buy red oak chips from Susie Q's www.susieqbrand.com, or substitute with any other mild wood (i.e., don't use mesquite).
5. Once the wood has burned down to white hot, place the tri-tips on the grill grate and sear quickly on all sides. If you have a crank-style grill, raise the grate about 6-8 inches from the heat and let the meat cook 25-30 minutes or until it registers about 130-135F on an instant-read thermometer for medium rare. If you don't have a crank-style grill, place the charcoal in the center of your regular grill, sear the meat, then move them to the sides so they cook over indirect heat until they reach the desired temperature.
6. Remove the tri-tips to a platter or chopping board and let rest 15-20 minutes (you can tent in foil, but not necessary - uncovered will keep the outer seared crust of the meat from losing their nice seared texture).
7. Slice the meat thinly across the grain and serve with the beans, salsa and grilled French bread on the side.
1 lb. Pinquito beans
3 quarts (12 cups) water
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red chile sauce or ketchup
1 tsp. dried mustard
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1 4-oz or 7-oz. can diced mild Ortega green chiles
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1. Pour the beans into a shallow bowl or plate and pick over to remove any pieces of grit or stone. Rinse the dried beans in a strainer. Place in a pot, cover with water, and let soak 8 hours or overnight.
2. Add the diced bacon to a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for about 1 minute until the bacon starts rendering its fat. Add the onions and garlic and continue cooking for a couple minutes until the bacon is slightly browned and the onions and garlic are translucent. Set aside.
3. Drain the water from the beans and add 3 quarts (12 cups) fresh water. Stir in 2 tsp. kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for about 1 hour.
4. Add the bacon-onion mixture, chile sauce, dried mustard, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, chipotle chile powder, Ortega chiles, and diced tomato to the beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer another 1-2 hours or until the beans are tender. Taste and re-season as needed.
SANTA MARIA-STYLE SALSA:
5-6 ripe medium-large tomatoes, diced (or a 28-oz. can whole tomatoes)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, grated
3-4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 4-oz. can diced mild Ortega green chiles
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. blood orange balsamic vinegar
1. Combine the tomatoes, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, scallions and cilantro in a medium bowl.
2. Using an emulsion blender, pulse the mixture a few times until the salsa ingredients are blended but still a bit chunky.
3. Stir in the green chiles, olive oil, red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.