In partnership withCalifornia Avocados

Roasted Tri-Tip Steak with California Avocado Relish Is Deliciously, Distinctly West Coast

published May 13, 2022
Roasted Tri-Tip with California Avocado Relish Recipe

Tri-tip roasts originated in Santa Maria, California, and this beefy cut is topped with California Avocado, tomato, and cucumber relish.

Serves4 to 6

Prep20 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Martha Tinkler

The majestic Central Coast of California is home to mild weather, jaw-dropping coastal views, and a laid-back vibe from its lucky residents. No trip here is complete without a meal featuring tri-tip, a unique cut of beef named for its triangular shape that was created in the town of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County.

Tri-tip is lean, beefy, and often grilled because California is blessed with year-round grilling weather, but it can also be simply seared and roasted instead. When topped with a fresh relish made with creamy California Avocados, the combination makes for an easy, satisfying main course.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Martha Tinkler

Start with a Light, Flavorful Avocado Relish

Santa Maria also is home to locally-grown California Avocado groves, making the pairing of tri-tip and the superfood a natural fit. California Avocados are responsibly grown by farmers who really take care of the land. They’re in season during the spring and summer, which just so happens to be peak grilling season. To make the relish for the tri-tip, chop and combine a ripe California Avocado, cucumber, tomato, and parsley with a squeeze of lemon. All these sun-loving ingredients come together into a light relish with lots of texture that pairs perfectly with sliced tri-tip.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Martha Tinkler

What Is Tri-Tip?

Tri-tip comes from the bottom of the sirloin and, unlike some other cuts of steaks, benefits from being cooked closer to medium doneness. The easiest way to do this is to sear it in a hot pan on the stovetop first, then flip it and finish roasting in the oven. A roast easily serves 4 to 6 people, and all you need for seasoning it is some garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. For those outside of California who don’t have easy access to the tri-tip cut, use thick-cut sirloin steaks instead.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Stylist: Martha Tinkler

Even if you can’t make it out to Santa Maria to feast on tri-tip, this dish is easy to prepare and a fun way to armchair travel out to that special region in California. If you can, enjoy it outside in the sunshine for a true Cali vibe.

Before You Cook…

Roasted Tri-Tip with California Avocado Relish Recipe

Tri-tip roasts originated in Santa Maria, California, and this beefy cut is topped with California Avocado, tomato, and cucumber relish.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the tri-tip:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    garlic powder or granulated garlic

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1

    (about 2 1/2-pound) beef tri-tip roast

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable or canola oil

  • Flaky salt, for sprinkling (optional)

For the relish:

  • 1/3

    medium English cucumber (4 to 5 ounces)

  • 1

    medium roma or plum tomato (about 4 ounces)

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 6 sprigs

    6 sprigs fresh parsley

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1

    ripe but firm large California Avocado (about 8 ounces)

Instructions

Make the tri-tip:

  1. Stir 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper together in a small bowl. Pat 1 (about 2 1/2-pound) beef tri-tip roast dry with paper towels. If there is any silver skin on the surface, trim it off (here’s how). Rub all over with the garlic mixture. The tri-tip can be cooked immediately or transferred to a plate and refrigerated uncovered for up to 8 hours.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF. If the tri-tip has been refrigerated, let it sit out at room temperature while the oven heats.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large oven-safe or cast iron frying pan (at least 12 inches wide) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tri-tip smoother-side down and press down on it briefly so it has good contact with the pan. Cook undisturbed until well-browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the tri-tip.

  4. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tri-tip registers about 125ºF for medium, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, start the relish.

Make the relish:

  1. Prepare the following ingredients, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Dice 1/3 medium English cucumber (about 1 cup). Core and dice 1 plum tomato (generous 1/2 cup). Mince 1 garlic clove. Pick and finely chop the leaves from 6 fresh parsley sprigs until you have 2 tablespoons. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons).

  2. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss to combine.

  3. When the tri-tip is ready, transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest 10 minutes (tent loosely with aluminum foil if the kitchen is cold). Meanwhile, halve, pit, peel, and dice 1 ripe but firm large California Avocado (about 1 cup). Add to the relish and gently fold to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

  4. Cut the roast in half crosswise at the center point. Cut each half across the grain into slices about 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle the slices with flaky salt if desired and serve topped with the California Avocado relish.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.