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Monday, October 14, 2013

Tri-tip, more Tri-tip, Sausage, Short Ribs, Gluttony!

After a brief hiatus, during which my friends Rob and Michael, along with I, recovered from the last run of ridiculous dining, we decided it was time to start up with the next round. Farmer's markets and butcher counters were hit up, home made sausage was attempted, coffee was imbibed and the feast was organized. There would be sausage, tri-tip and short ribs as the main meats. Roasted baby squash and beets, tomato and burrata salad and some Drakonic stout from my local brewery to welcome in fall.

Step one was to prepare and smoke the short ribs, as these would take the longest to get right. I wanted to take these to fully done, previous attempts have been a little under done for my taste. I gave these a basic rub, and let sit while I lit the BGE up. Once the cooker was up to 300F, I put the meat on to the cooker and let them run for 3 hours.

Prime short ribs

Basic Rub (used on tri-tip and short ribs)
3 parts Kosher salt
3 parts medium grind black pepper
1/2 part Spanish paprika
1/4 part Cayenne
1/4 part fresh lemon zest
I mix the ingredients together by hand, kneaded the salt with the zest and other ingredients to infuse the citrus oils through the rub, and to bind the paprika and chile powder into clumps.

After three hours, I wrapped in foil as time was getting short and they needed a kick in the pants to get done. 30 minutes later, and another 10 over direct heat, I had this.

For the rest period

Step two was the home made sausage, detailed on this post. I decided to poach them in a court bouillon first, just to tighten up the skins and assure myself that things were cooked. Then, cooling, and into the smoke for an hour, which gave the sausages a nice smoke flavor. These would be grilled shortly before dinner.

One hank for dinner


And on to Step three, the tri-tips. We ended up buying something called a Black Jack tri-tip, which seemed intriguing, although we have passed on these many times before, we finally broke down and bought one of these. They are jet black and shiny, marinaded in some mixture that seems quite odd, so few black foods out there, and I hoped that this was not some horrible licorice experiment. There was also the Wagyu tri-tip that we have some to love. It is so incredibly tender and rich, this time, I hit it with the aforementioned basic rub, and onto the BGE running closer to 285F to 295F. These two tri-tips were to be cooked for an hour or so.

Wagyu marbling-obvious

Oh, there were snacks too, some wild caught prawns, which we gave the Zatarain's boil treatment...

Snacks for the cook

Okay, back to the tri-tips, onto the BGE and cooking along...

You can see that black tri-tip

That is not a shadow or weird exposure, that is a jet black and shiny tri-tip. In any event, things got cooked, these were slow cooked at 300F, until 128F internal, then the BGE was setup for direct grilling, my fingers were burned a bit, all things went along fine here.

Pan O' Meat

Pan O' Meat again

You can see the texture of the meat here, with Wagyu, I have found that the lean parts barely hold together when the cooking is done. These were reverse seared, which I don't do very often, but, working with the cooker I have, and the expectations, reverse sear was the best option. I prefer a slow, direct fired, method of cooking for tri-tips, which gives me the best texture and appearance, but, that is a different story. The short ribs had rested for over an hour, these meats were given a 30 minutes rest as well.

Wagyu Tri-tip

Black Jack Tri-tip


Pork sausages

Even though the Wagyu tri-tip looks pretty lean, it is deceptive, that meat is so tender texture, almost melting on the tongue. Even the parts I cooked to medium (one member of our group does not eat rare meat) were tender to almost a falling apart level. The Black Jack had a great texture and a complex flavor, similar to Hoisin sauce, it is one of the very best marinaded tri-tips I have ever had. The short ribs were perfect, flat out, as good as that cut of meat can be. The sausage was also a winner, despite an almost too mild flavor, the smoke and texture held the day, they were even better with a little mustard. Overall, the meats were nailed. The salad and vegetables were incredible as well.

We won't mention the Radish Tsukemono.


  1. It looks like you have the plate setter in on the tri tip cook, did you use it for the short ribs as well? This food all looks great but the marbling on the prime beef really makes me crave beef right this instant.

  2. Chris, I did have the platesetter in for most of the cook. I removed it for the last few minutes of the tri-tip cook to get direct heat onto the tri-tip. I won't be doing that again, as the platesetter was screaming hot