Today is the 4th Saturday in July. That means today is The National Day of the Cowboy. While there are several National Days celebrated on July 23, the National Day of the Cowboy is one of those moving dates celebrated on a particular Saturday in July.
The National Day of the Cowboy isn’t new. It’s been around since 2004. By July 2019, fifteen states had adapted resolutions to establish the fourth Saturday in July as a day to promote the contributions of the American Cowboy (and Cowgirl) to America’s culture, heritage and way of life. Former President George W. Bush once said “We celebrate the Cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West. The Cowboy’s love of the land and love of the country are examples for all Americans.”
Cowboy life came into existence at the end of the Civil War when men were needed to round up the free-range cattle and herd them to market. Cowboys were mostly young men in need of cash. The average cowboy in the west could earn as much as $40.00 a month, depending upon experience and position. By the 1890s, as more land became privatized fenced-in ranches, the need for round-ups like those of the past dwindled. With the expansion of railroads, long drives to market also became less necessary. Even though the cowboy’s role in history began to decline; by the 1920s, Hollywood kept the romantic notion of the cowboy alive. This love affair with the cowboy of the west continued through the 1940s with stars like John Wayne. While Wayne may have portrayed fictional characters, the grit, strength and independence are very much a part of the cowboy way that still exists today.
Smoked Red Wine Marinated Tri-Tip
2 lb Tri Tip
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Coarse Black Pepper
Trim Tri-Tip. Rub well with salt and pepper. Place Tri-Tip in a gallon size resealable bag. Place in a dish to catch any liquid that may drip out during marinade.
Red Wine Marinade
1 cup Red Wine
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 Shallot, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, minced
In a 4-cup measuring cup, measure red wine. Add Worcestershire Sauce. Set aside. Peel and mince shallot, add to red wine. Peel and mince garlic, add to wine. Strip rosemary needles from sprigs, mince and add to wine mixture. Pour marinade over the tri-tip.
Seal tight and turn several times. Marinate for two hours, (up to 6) in a dish in the refrigerator. Turn bag halfway through the marinade time.
Remove meat from bag and discard marinade. Pat meat dry, remove excess rosemary. Let Tri-Tip rest on the counter for about 45 minutes.
Light wood for smoker in a chimney. Follow the directions for your smoker.
For our smoker, Hubby built a fire in the smoking chamber, placed a pan of water over the wood chips on the grate. On the charcoal side of the grill, he placed a drip pan under the meat to catch drippings. Before smoking, Hubby oiled the grate to prevent sticking.
Using a fruit wood such as cherry or apple, heat the smoker to 225 degrees. Add additional wood as needed to maintain smoke. Adjust vents to allow smoke to circulate around the meat.
Place Tri-tip on the charcoal side of the grill. Let smoke for about 1-1/2 hours, checking for doneness after an hour. A Tri-tip should never be cooked beyond medium-rare to remain tender.
Pull from smoker, place on a carving board and cover with a large metal bowl turned up-side-down. This will allow meat to remain warm while resting.
Slice against to grain, serve and enjoy. Great with skillet potatoes and cob corn.