Red Wine Tri Tip with Green Bean-Tomato Salad

I went to Costco last week, with an actual list, thinking that I could buy only what I needed and get out quickly. But deep down, I knew. I just knew that I'd end up with a cart full of stuff that I had no previous intentions of purchasing...In this case, I went in for K-Cups and ribs, but I came out with an ice cream maker instead. (Mmmm. Homemade Cherry Garcia.) I mean, really...A freaking ice cream maker?!

*sigh* Ultimately, I brought home so many different things that there was barely any room left in my refrigerator. I stared at the smorgasbord of food and thought...Welp. A nice, big dinner will solve this. Thursday Night Football would be on, so why not make it a relaxing evening. I marinated tri tip with red wine and herbs, and then I tossed together a green bean and tomato salad!

To start off, I seasoned the meat with some coarse sea salt, opting to go with my trusty Hawaiian sea salt. I love barbecuing or roasting tri tip, and it's one of the first cuts of meat that I like to stock up on when I do my grocery shopping. It can be so tender, juicy, and flavorful. The amazing thing started out as a California thing. A friend of mine from culinary school once told me he'd never even heard of tri tip back in his home state of Texas, and another claimed that it's not that common on the East coast either. But I love tri-tip and definitely recommend trying it out!

WINE TIME. I went with a Merlot from Napa Valley. It has notes of cherry and oak, and the wine is smooth on the palate.

I started marinating my tri tip around 10 in the morning...The rule of thumb is never cook with a wine that you wouldn't drink. Therefore, I had to have a glass of merlot before I used it. Had to. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?! (And, no, that is not some torture device. That would be my lovely lever corkscrew. I love that thing.)

While I enjoyed my morning glass of wine...or 2... I prepared the other essential elements of the marinade: garlic, red onion, fresh basil, and fresh rosemary!

Good red wine, herbs, garlic, and onion would be a fabulously flavored marinade all on its own, but I wanted to take mine just a few notches up on the depth meter. I whisked together the merlot, some balsamic vinegar (I just bought a giant, Kirkland-sized bottle), honey mustard, brown sugar, dried thyme and oregano leaves, and freshly cracked pepper. The woodsy spices pair well with the rich wine and balsamic, and there's a kick from the tangy mustard and vinegar. Sweetness from the honey and brown sugar rounds everything out.

I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours, flipping the meat over every once in awhile to assure even flavoring.

A little over an hour before TNF kickoff, I pulled the tri tip out so that it could come to room temperature for 30 minutes. (Or, you know, if you don't have a game time to go by, an hour before dinnertime works too...)

Normally, I would recommend barbecuing the tri tip. This was actually my original plan, but some gloomy weather made me resort to other methods. Instead, I seared both sides of the meat in a cast-iron skillet then roasted it in the oven for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. When it was ready, I removed the pan from the oven and allowed the meat to rest (still covered) before slicing.

As the tri tip was roasting, I started to think about what I wanted to eat on the side. A big bag of haricot vert (one of my favorite Costco-buys) is a godsend when you need a quick-fix side dish. You just blanch them, and they're ready to go! Some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes happened to catch my eye, as well. (I'm just a sucker for the colors.)

My 1-lb container of ciliegine, or "little cherry" mozzarella, was just begging to be thrown into the mix as well. I looove fresh mozzarella, and it's a tasty contrast with all the refreshing and crisp veggies! (As I look at these pictures, I realize... I'm pretty sure I ate half of the ciliegine before the cheese even made it into the salad bowl....)

The only seasoning that this salad needed was a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, a few turns from the pepper grinder, and slivers of fresh basil chiffonade!

The flavors of the red wine and the robust herbs are in every single bite of the tender, juicy tri-tip, and the fresh tomato and crisp green beans bring texture and simple, clean flavors.

You can marinate the meat while out for the day or at work, then the salad is quick and easy to put together just before mealtime. Whether for a weeknight or for one of your gameday get-togethers, try this recipe! :)

Merlot Tri Tip

Print Recipe

1.75- 2 lbs Beef Loin Tri Tip
1 tbsp Coarse Sea Salt
1 Shallot or Small Red Onion, sliced thinly
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Rosemary Sprigs, leaves chopped
4 large Basil Leaves, chopped
1 tsp Coarsely Ground Pepper
1/4 tsp Ground Thyme
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano Leaves
2 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Honey Mustard
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup Red Wine Wine

  1. In a deep-sided dish or large bowl, season both sides of the tri tip with the coarse sea salt.
  2. Chop the shallot, garlic, and fresh herbs, then sprinkle them in an even layer over the tri tip. Whisk together the pepper, thyme, oregano, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and wine in a measuring cup. Make sure all of the seasonings have been incorporated. Then, pour the marinade over the tri tip. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. While the meat is marinating, flip the meat over every 2 hours or so to keep the flavors evenly distributed.
  3. Before cooking, remove the meat from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
  4. Sear the tri tip in a heavy-bottomed pan until both sides have browned and formed a crust (about 3 minutes per side). Next, place the meat in a roasting pan and cover completely with foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. *OR: Sear the meat over medium-high heat on a grill, then lower the heat so that the temperature inside the grill reads 325 degrees. Cover, and cook for 30 minutes (15 minutes per side).
  5. Remove from the oven/grill and let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes, keeping it covered with foil.
  6. Slice the tri tip and serve with salad, potatoes, or any of your favorite side dishes! Enjoy :)