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Easy Recipes for Stay-at-Home-Dads: Tri-Tip Roast with Herbs

Updated on March 15, 2011

Readers of these posts (be they stay-at-home-dads like myself or amateur chefs) may remember my recent trip to the grocery store where the meat department had a sirloin tri-tip roast two-for-one sale on. Never one to walk past a bargain, I was still a little intimidated at laying down $12 for a couple of 3-pound hunks of meat the name of which I had never come across.

As described, in that situation I simply pulled out my iPhone, checked the app and quickly discovered a relatively simple cooking plan. I ended up cooking the meal a couple of days later and, as a result, the recipe is now part of the “suitable for company” list our family keeps on the second shelf of our kitchen bookshelf (I made it a practice, very early on, never to try a new recipe on company). After the post I have had a couple of people ask about the tri-tip as well as the recipe itself so I thought I would pass it along here (with a couple of minor changes).

Before we hit the kitchen, I wanted to give a little advice on cooking roasts (as well as steaks or any other meat on the grill or in the oven): always leave the meat on the counter for an hour before cooking (which, in our case, means atop the toaster oven on the far end of the counter, out of the reach of the dog). For those of you already pretty handy in the kitchen this advice is probably not needed. When I used to cook meat, however (either outside or in the kitchen), I was always mystified by the fact that, no matter what the recipe instructions, I always ended up cooking meat for longer than the time called for. As I read more cook books I realized allowing meat to come to room temperature dramatically decreased cooking time. Since I also season with a little kosher salt and freshly ground pepper before cooking, doing so on a room-temperature roast allows the spices to better permeate the meat.

Anyway, on to the kitchen and the tri-tip.


1 three-pound tri-tip roast

3 garlic gloves (minced)

1½ tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

¾ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

2. Mix the garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano and thyme in a bowl and add the olive oil. Set aside for 15 minutes.

3. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and, if you have one, place a roasting rack in the pan.

4. Rub the roast with the spices and place it in the pan (or on the rack).

5. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and place the meat in the oven.

6. Leave the meat in the oven for approximately 60 minutes until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 140 degrees (this is for medium rare).

7. When the meat has reached the desired temperature, remove the roast and place on a plate for 10 to 15 minutes.

8. Slice and serve.

The 500 degree temperature is another trick I learned with roasts: the initial heat blast helps the outside of the meat become a little crispier and kick starts the cooking process. Since meat will continue to cook after oven removal, the 10 to 15 minute resting time finishes the process as well as allows the roast juices to return to the interior of the meat thus keeping it moist.

Let me know what you think. We served the meal with twice-baked potatoes and brussel sprouts (my son had carrots) and a Pinot Noir.


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