In the City of Santa Maria on the Central Coast of California Barbecue is not just a way to cook, it is a 200 year old tradition. In the early 1800s cattle ranching was the main industry in this rustic town. After every roundup the local cowboys held huge beef barbecues.
The people of the Santa Maria Valley have kept this tradition alive by making a barbecue the center of all major events.
Simplicity is the key to the Santa Maria Style B-B-Q. Thick cuts of beef seasoned only with salt, pepper and a hint of garlic, cooked over Santa Maria Valley Red Oak Coals, is the secret.
To be authentic the cut of meat should be three inches thick and weigh 3-4 pounds, but in modern days a smaller cut, frequently tri-tip, is more popular. The side dishes are as much a part of the tradition as the meat. PINQUIITO BEANS, macaroni and cheese, a fresh green salad, toasted sweet french bread, SALSA, coffee and a simple desert round out the meal.