Why It Works
- Salting the roast and letting it rest, uncovered, overnight means deeper seasoning, plus a drier surface for better browning.
- Slow-roasting in a low oven cooks the tri-tip evenly from edge to edge.
- A quick reduction of beef stock and red wine, fortified with shallots cooked in beef drippings and a touch of soy sauce, makes a deliciously simple shortcut jus.
Cooking an impressive beef roast shouldn't always mean wreaking havoc on your budget. With the help of the reverse-sear method, and a shortcut technique for making jus, this affordable tri-tip roast can hold its own against any expensive cut of meat. Oh, and it makes bomb French dip sandwiches, too—everybody wins.
The Day Before Roasting: Using butcher's twine, tie tri-tip at 1-inch intervals using butcher's knots. Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer to a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, at least overnight and up to 2 nights.
When Ready to Cook: Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 225°F (105°C). Place baking sheet with rack and tri-tip in oven and roast until internal temperature registers 115°F (46°C) on an instant-read thermometer at the tri-tip's thickest point, about 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, in a 3-quart stainless steel saucier, combine stock and 1 cup (240ml) red wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, occasionally scraping down sides of saucier with a rubber spatula, until mixture thickens slightly and is reduced to 2 cups (475ml), 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat.
Just before tri-tip comes out of the oven, add oil to a 12-inch cast iron, carbon steel, or heavy stainless steel skillet and heat over high heat until smoking. Add tri-tip to skillet and cook, using a small cast iron skillet or weight to press down on tri-tip for even browning. If the beef begins to char or the skillet begins smoking aggressively, reduce heat to medium-high. Cook until tri-tip is evenly browned on all sides and internal temperature registers 130°F (54°C), about 5 minutes.
Transfer tri-tip to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add shallots to now-empty skillet, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are softened and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup (60ml) red wine to skillet and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Transfer shallot mixture to saucier with reduced stock and red wine mixture and stir to combine. Bring jus to a simmer over high heat and stir in soy sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut and remove twine from tri-tip, then cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices if you are serving the beef as a main course. Slice into thin, 2-inch-wide pieces if you plan to serve the beef in sandwiches. Serve right away, passing shallot jus at the table.
For best results, season and trim the roast and allow it to rest at least overnight, uncovered, in the refrigerator to improve seasoning, browning, and texture. Homemade stock will make a better jus, but you can also use high-quality store-bought stock. Because the stock is reduced for the jus, try to purchase low-sodium stock; otherwise, you risk making the jus overly salty.
Make-Ahead and Storage
This recipe is best enjoyed right away.