Copain Tri-Tip Sandwiches

Upgrade your next backyard barbeque with this recipe!

The warm summer days upon us conjure up memories of barbeques with family and friends.  While that might not be possible for everyone at this time, we have a fabulous recipe that will immediately enhance your next backyard barbeque.  Our favorite Pinot Noir pairing with this recipe was the 2017 Cote Bannie Pinot Noir, with it's bold dark fruit flavors and exotic spice aromatics.  For Syrahs, there were plenty of contenders and, honestly, pretty much all of them paired very well with the Tri-Tip Sandwich.  That being said, the winner was the 2016 Brosseau Syrah.  Its blackberry fruit and crush peppercorn flavors wonderfully enhanced this delicious meal.  Our favorite saying around the winery when it comes to food pairing is that there's rarely a wrong answer when it comes to our wines.  They are all evocative in their expression of varietal and place, harmonizing with an ecclectic array of dishes served for all of life's occasions.

If steaks and burgers are the champions of summer grilling, roasts like tri-tip, cooked slowly on the grill, are a great alternative. Santa Maria tri-tip is as close as California gets to a regional barbecue style. It’s a staple of the Central Coast, made with meaty slabs of dry-rubbed sirloin smoked over oak in a covered grill and served up with beans and salsa. We enjoy Snake River Farms American Wagyu tri-tip, and we love it thinly sliced in sandwiches. It’s so flavorful you can skip the dry rub and just season it with salt and pepper.  

SERVES 4

For the blue cheese dressing:
1⁄4 lb creamy cow’s milk blue cheese (such as Point Reyes Farmstead Original Blue), crumbled
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1⁄2 cup buttermilk
1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons minced green onions, white and green parts
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Cabernet cabbage:
1 tablespoon rendered bacon fat or extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 red onion, julienned
1⁄2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 lb red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf, 4 juniper berries, and 3 black peppercorns, tied in a sachet
1 cup dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons sugar
1 fresh rosemary sprig

For the tri-tip:
1 beef tri-tip, 2 to 21⁄2 lb
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
4 brioche rolls, split, or 8 thick slices country-style bread
1 cup baby arugula

To make the blue cheese dressing: In a small bowl, combine all of the
ingredients and stir to mix well. You should have about 11/4 cups. Cover
and refrigerate until ready to use. The dressing is best made the day before
using and refrigerated overnight.

To braise the cabbage: In a large pot, heat the bacon fat over medium
heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about
4 minutes, until soft but not browned.
Add the cabbage and the sachet to the pot and stir for about 4 minutes,
until the cabbage wilts slightly. Add the wine, vinegar, pomegranate molasses,
sugar, and rosemary, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a
gentle simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until the liquid reduces
almost completely. Remove and discard the sachet and rosemary. Set the
cabbage aside while you cook the tri-tip.

To grill the tri-tip: Remove the tri-tip from the refrigerator about 1 hour
before grilling. Meanwhile, prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect
cooking over high heat. Brush the cooking grate clean.
Pat the tri-tip dry with paper towels. Rub the tri-tip with the olive oil
and season with the salt and pepper. Place on the grill over high heat for
4 minutes, flip the tri-tip, and cook for 4 minutes longer. Move the tri-tip
to a medium-low heat area and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until an
instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F for
medium-rare. Transfer the tri-tip to a cutting board, tent loosely with
aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing against the grain.

To assemble: Grill or toast the rolls. Spoon the cabbage on the bottom
half of each roll, then top with slices of tri-tip, some arugula, and some
dressing. Close with the roll tops and serve at once.