The best street-bbq in Santa Maria is found at the corner of Broadway and Newlove and comes with a side of steamed rice. It is admittedly not what most would call traditional SM style, but it is the best and made by the Filipino Community Center.
My wife’s mom taught me to make adobo a few years ago. Based on that recipe, I came up with this tri-tip marinade. This really is secret information and I feel a little guilty making it public. Maybe I’ll leave out an ingredient just to make sure no one can truly duplicate mine.
Recipe: Filipino Style Tri-Tip
- 1 tri-tip, about 2-3 pounds. I trim most of the fat before marinating; others like to leave it on since for some extra crispiness.
- Five or six cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped up a bit. The more the better. I sometimes use the stuff from Gilroy that comes in a jar.
- One 12-ounce beer. Whatever you have in the house.
- One cup soy sauce.
- Two cups plain white vinegar.
- Lots of cracked black pepper.
- Two tablespoons brown sugar.
- A bay leaf, if you want to.
- A one-gallon Ziploc bag.
Combine all ingredients in the Ziploc bag. Smell it to make sure you have the right ratio of vinegar to soy sauce. It should smell really good, almost like teriyaki but also like beer and garlic. Try to balance the aromas by adjusting each ingredient. Squish the bag so that almost all of the air is out and then zip it closed.
If you have time, leave the bag in the refrigerator overnight and then take out and leave it on the counter for a couple of hours before putting the meat on the grill. If you don’t have time to marinate overnight, just leave it on the counter for as long as you can before cooking. You want the tri-tip to approach room temperature before cooking. Putting it on the grill right out of the fridge will cause problems. You can also use a marinade injector to save time.
Remove the tri-tip from the bag, and discard the marinade. BBQ over oak coals for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on desired doneness. Flip it over every 15-20 minutes or so. The thin side of the try-tip will be well-done, the thicker side rare.
Use a meat thermometer to judge when it is done. Once you are there, take it off the grill and let it sit for at least 20 minutes, preferably a half-hour. Don’t poke it, slice it, or otherwise touch it while it rests.
After it rests, slice it thin against the grain, and serve with steamed white rice and salsa.