What Do You Mean There’s A “Grilling Season”…This Is California!
In some parts of the United States they are, unfortunately, still digging out from winter, and part of that dig-out is preparing for grilling and soon-to-be summer barbeques. Grills kept dormant through the winter have to be thoroughly cleaned and prepped for the season so they are ready to go for those first steaks and burgers cooked outdoors. You know the basic recipe…meat and fire.
But this is California, and for many of us the grilling goes on year ‘round—who needs to wait for summer? Besides, grilling is a fun, interactive way to combine social time and cooking. And since this is California, how about throwing something uniquely "California" on the grill? Tri-tip was “born” in California in the Santa Maria Valley, and even at its beginnings it was meant to be shared with guests.
As the story goes, as far back as the early 1800s the rancheros would gather each spring to help each other brand their cattle. The host would prepare a Spanish-style barbeque for the vaqueros (our first cowboys!) after a long day of work. The beef was barbequed over a red oak fire and served with Pinquinto beans, bread and salsa. Fast forward to the 1950s and California’s Central Coast near Santa Maria; meat cutter Bob Schutz started using one of the muscles from the bottom sirloin and barbequed it “Santa Maria style.” Until that time, much of that bottom sirloin was used for stew meat or ground beef. The new cut that Schutz created was a triangular shape, hence, Tri-tip.
This is California, after all…isn’t our very own Tri-tip reason enough to get together with friends and celebrate?