Beer-Braised Tri-Tip Over Rice

By Kipp Rix

I will preface this recipe by stating, if cooking this at the station I will prepare the sauce by combining the beer, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, the garlic, and fire-roasted tomatoes in a saucepan and simmering for 15 minutes to meld the flavors (see cooking directions); allow to cool, seal in an airtight container, and add to the recipe when directed. If you can’t find fire-roasted green chile in your area, two options are to check your grocery store for long green chile or Poblano peppers and roast them over the open flame of your cooktop or grill or take a trip to where you can order fresh roasted chile.

I like to braise meats; it allows you to use less expensive cuts of beef and by cooking low and slow it breaks the meat fibers down and the end result is a tender and moist meat. When selecting the meat, make sure that it contains a fair amount of marbling, as it is the marbling in the meat that aids in the tenderization and final flavor; this recipe works as well substituting pork for the beef. Cook the meat until it is fork tender and easily falls apart.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional for sauce)

3 pounds Tri-Tip steak strips ½-inch thick, 2-3 inches wide

sea salt

coarse ground black pepper

1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced coarse

2 tablespoons tomato paste (divided if premaking sauce)

1 bottle dark beer

1 cup water

14 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

½ cup diced fire-roasted green chile

2 teaspoons thyme

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon chipotle powder

4 tablespoons roasted garlic seasoning

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


Cooking Directions

If you are going to prepare the sauce in advance:

  1. In medium-size saucepan, melt butter, add 1 tablespoon garlic and stir to combine. Add the 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and stir in; add the tomatoes and the beer. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil and lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow sauce to cool; store in an airtight container.
  2. In a fry pan, heat the oil to medium high, season all sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Place the meat in the pan and brown well (4-5 minutes) on all sides. Cook the meat in stages so as not to crowd the pan and allowing the meat to brown well. As the meat cooks, remove and hold in the slow cooker.
  3. Once all the meat is cooked, remove all but 1 tablespoon of the oil in the fry pan, add the diced onion, and cook until just starting to brown. Add the tomato paste and stir into the onion and cook until the paste starts to brown and stick to the pan.
  4. At this point, add the sauce if you premade it, or add the beer, water, tomatoes, green chile, and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil and scrape the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan (this is flavor packed, don’t waste it).
  5. Once all the brown bits have been incorporated into the sauce, remove from heat and pour over the meat. Stir to combine, and ensure that the meat is at least halfway covered by sauce.
  6. Cover and set the slow cooker to high heat and allow the meat to cook for 2 hours.
  7. Remove ½ to ¾ cup of the sauce, add the thyme, paprika, cumin, chipotle, soy sauce, mustard, and Worcestershire. Mix well to combine, pour back over the meat, and stir in. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Lower the temperature to low and allow the meat to cook for an additional 4 hours. Serve a piece of the meat and a ladle of sauce over rice.


Kipp Rix has been in the fire service for 19 years working as both a career and volunteer fire fighter in New Mexico. Kipp started cooking at the age of 10 and learned his early skills watching shows like the Galloping Gourmet and Julia Child. Throughout the years, Kipp refined his skills with a focus on grilling foods with a southwestern flair. In 2009 Fire House Publications, LLC released the first of Kipp’s two cook books with the second book released in 2011; a portion of the proceeds from the books helps fund Fire Kids. Kipp’s philosophy of fire house cooking is “Just because you work in a busy house does not mean that you have to settle for ordinary cooking, a crew’s attitude is directly related to the meals served!” Each of Kipp’s recipes has been Fire House tested and approved. Please email with a crew picture enjoying this recipe along with your review; each month one entry will be selected to receive a signed copy of one of my cook books. In 2013 Kipp founded Fire Kids, an organization that works with New Mexico children’s agencies and other organizations like the Make A Wish Foundation, of New Mexico to identify children facing a life altering or terminal illness; working with local municipal agencies and fire departments Fire Kids affords these children an opportunity to live the life of a fire fighter for a day. Complete information can be found on our Fire Kids web page.


















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