The Friday Football Foodie: Grilled Tri-Tip with Chocolate Balsamic Sauce

When I made this week’s Friday Football Foodie video, I synced it to a song which caused the clip to be quickly disabled from YouTube, despite the song already appearing on about a dozen other YouTube uploads with millions of hits. So I re-uploaded the video with another song, but I wasn’t happy with the results as the new tune was much too slow. I went back to the YouTube videos that had the song I wanted to use — the ones that didn’t seem to be having takedown issues — downloaded them, pulled the audio to replace the track on my already edited video, and then re-uploaded it. But this time instead of my video being disabled, there was a small ad placed at the bottom and a link added to sites where one could buy the song. Same song, same company; two different uploads and two different outcomes. And I’m still worried that the video is going to be pulled again and we’ll have to go with the much slower Louis Armstrong song, “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue”.

For a song I already owned, paid for and everything.

Now I know how Dennis Dixon felt going through training camp and probably feels now that Leftwich is on the mend. You think you’re fine, then it turns out you’re not, so you have to waste time with something else that doesn’t quite work, and then by some fluke and hard work you end up right back where you were before with a job that should have been yours all along, still looking over your shoulder in case it’s taken away from you again.

Okay, maybe they are not quite the same thing.

Today’s video was shot over Labor Day weekend during a break in some college football watching. As you can tell, as a group of Pomona, Ohio University and Pitzer College — Pitzer? The guy wearing the Pitzer hoodie went to U of Ohio for undergrad and I forget where for law school — among others, we’re not the biggest college fans. Doesn’t mean we cannot use it as an excuse to get together and barbecue by the pool. (Thanks KP!)

Tri-Tip with Chocolate Balsamic Sauce on Grilled Garlic Toast

You will need…

2-3 pound tri-tip, trimmed
Ground pepper
Kosher salt
Garlic powder
Redwood or hickory wood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes.

One of the traditional ways to make a California Santa Maria tri-tip is to rub the meat down with a mix of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and garlic powder at least 12-24 hours ahead of grilling. When barbecuing, place the water with your (preferably redwood) wood chips on the grill over medium heat until they start to boil and smoke then throw on the meat, turning every 10-15 minutes until medium. Depending on how hot your grill is and how big of a tri-tip you are working with, this should take 30-60 minutes, or until a thermometer at the thickest part of the meat is about 135º-140º. Let the tri-tip rest under foil for about 10-15 minutes before thinly slicing the meat against the grain.

If you’re not interested in a chocolate balsamic sauce, tri-tip also goes great with chimichurri sauce, gorgonzola cheese, or my favorite; freshly mashed avocado with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar Sauce
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
4 tablespoons minced shallots, (about two whole shallots)
1 cup of cabernet sauvignon
2 cups of beef stock
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces of dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper to taste

The key to this sauce is reduction, reduction, reduction, reduction. (And not burning your shallots.) Lightly brown your shallots in olive oil with a pinch of salt over medium heat, add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Once reduced by half, cool the mixture for a minute and then add your wine and garlic, bring back to simmer and cook until reduced by half again. Once thick, reduce the heat to low and melt in the chocolate and the butter and stir in a good quality balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Rolls, garlic butter (optional for serving)

Resist the urge we all have to add more garlic to the sauce, because you’re already seasoning the meat with garlic powder and serving it all on garlic toast. Or plain bread if you want to, but I like the garlic toast with my grilled meat.

Don’t forget to join the new Football Foodies group over on Flickr. Share shots of your favorite bar food. Or “lucky” dips, dishes and desserts. Tailgating, living room-gating, or plain old ordering a pizza. Everyone is  always looking for new ideas for something to serve on game days.

Sauce adapted from Filets with Chocolate Balsamic Sauce on
Santa Maria Tri-Tip recipe, common folk recipe in California.

~ by Sarah Sprague on September 16, 2010.

3 Responses to “The Friday Football Foodie: Grilled Tri-Tip with Chocolate Balsamic Sauce”

  1. I wanna party with the bro with the pipe!

  2. I highly recommend the Chocolate Balsamic sauce, even if you’re not a fan of either chocolate or balsamic vinegar. It goes so great with the tri-tip and garlic roll, even at 12am I’m getting hungry.

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