The Dish | Marinated Tri-Tip Steak with Polenta

This easy recipe requires little work except for remembering to plan ahead so the meat can marinate for at least 8 hours. Paired with the rosemary and parmesan polenta recipe below and a big green salad or sautéed greens, it’s perfect for company. Serves 6-8.


For the Tri-Tip:

  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grainy Dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 beef tri-tip, about 4 pounds
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Polenta:

  • 1 cup polenta (dry, not prepared)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary


  • Salt the meat and put into a large zip-close bag.
  • For the marinade, place all remaining tri-tip ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse for a minute.
  • Pour the marinade into the bag with the tri-tip, press out the air, and seal. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat the grill to medium heat. Remove the tri-tip from the marinade and cook over medium heat, turning frequently and basting with marinade until medium rare, about 20-25 minutes.  
  • Transfer to a carving board and let the meat sit for 10 minutes. Carve against the grain into thin slices.


  • Pour 1 cup polenta slowly into 4 cups boiling, generously salted water, whisking constantly until there are no lumps. Reduce heat to medium low and continue stirring as mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and continue to stir occasionally for about 20-25 mins (grains should be swollen and taste cooked, not raw).
  • When nearly done (polenta should be a thick mush but soft enough to stir; you can add more water if needed to thin), fold in butter, parmesan, salt (adjust for taste), and dried rosemary. 

Serve sliced tri-tip and polenta with sautéed greens or a fresh green salad.

Leave a Reply

The Exedra comments section is an essential part of the site. The goal of our comments policy is to help ensure it is a vibrant yet civil space. To participate, we ask that Exedra commenters please provide a first and last name. Please note that comments expressing congratulations or condolences may be published without full names. (View our full Comments Policy.)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *