A Whole New Approach to Tri-Tip!
I followed Mark's recipe with respect to the tri-tip itself - cooking it 5 minutes over very high heat in a cast iron skillet - followed by putting the cast iron skillet into a very hot (450+ degrees) oven for (in our case) about 15 minutes (our oven peaks at 450 - not 500 degrees). The key is watching the tri-tip to reach 125 degrees internal temperature.
While grilling the tri-tip in the skillet, I also cooked the small plum tomatoes in the other half of the skillet. The tomatoes got nicely soft and a bit roasted. I took the tomatoes out of the skillet just before flipping the tri-tip as I was putting the tri-tip in the skillet into the high-heat oven.
The tomatoes went into another pan - along with some slivered almonds, some minced garlic, a healthy amount of olive oil and - a few minutes later - a few tablespoons of sherry wine vinegar. While the tri-tip finished cooking and resting for 5 minutes, the sauce simmered - developing an amazing flavor.
As usual, I sliced the tri-tip against the grain and smothered the slices on the serving plates with the sauce. Wow - what a great combination of flavors! With this technique, I avoided using a food processor and was able to use simpler ingredients (sliced almonds, minced garlic) to produce an amazing result! Thanks to Mark Bittman and his recipe for his suggestions on this Romesco sauce - the flavors are superb - and a great accompaniment to tri-tip!