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Herb-and-Spice-Rubbed Tri-Tip Sandwiches

Herb-and-Spice-Rubbed Tri-Tip Sandwiches

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Tri-tip, a tender cut sometimes called bottom sirloin butt, should be about 1 1/2 inches thick, quickly cooked and thinly sliced across the grain. Its size and juiciness make it the perfect choice for grilled beef sandwiches and salads. If you can't find tri-tip, substitute flank or thick-cut sirloin steak. Romaine lettuce adds a nice crunch to these sandwiches.


For the herb and spice rub:

  • 2 Tbs. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tri-tip roast, about 2 lb. and 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, sliced about
     1/2 inch thick
  • 6 sandwich buns


To make the herb and spice rub, in a small bowl, stir together the paprika, celery seeds, oregano, salt, cumin and cayenne. Reserve 1/2 tsp. of the mixture, then pat and rub the remainder onto all sides of the tri-tip roast.

In another small bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic. Brush the roast with about half of the garlic oil. Let the roast stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. If refrigerated, remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before grilling.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Oil the grill rack.

Place the roast over the hottest part of a charcoal fire or directly over the heat elements of a gas grill. Cover the grill and cook, turning the roast once or twice with tongs, until cooked to your liking, about 30 minutes total for medium-rare.

About 10 minutes before the meat is done, stir the reserved rub into the reserved garlic oil. Brush on both sides of the onion slices. Place them at the edge of a charcoal grill where the heat is less intense, or on an area of a gas grill with lower heat. Grill, turning once, until lightly charred, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes per side.

About 1 minute before the meat is done, place the buns, cut sides down, along the edges of a charcoal grill, or on an area of a gas grill with lower heat, and grill until lightly toasted.

To test the meat for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into thethickest part of the meat; it should register 130°F. The temperature will rise another 5° to 10°F while the meat is resting.

Transfer the meat to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain. Layer the meat and onion slices on the bun bottoms, dividing evenly. Serve open faced or top with the bun tops. Serve hot. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Grilling, by Denis Kelly, Melanie Barnard, Barbara Grunes & Michael McLaughlin (Oxmoor House, 2003).