Oven Roasted Tri-tip with Rosemary and Thyme plus Hiking in Heidelberg, Germany

Quick Roast Beef in the Oven

At cooking school in Heidelberg, Germany, our group prepared dumplings, spaetzle, soup, vegetables and dessert. But lurking in an oven out of sight from our prep tables was a beautiful roast covered with fresh rosemary and thyme. I saw Chef Deppel open up the oven door and look at it a couple of times, but we were not involved in its preparation. It mysteriously appeared, perfectly cooked for our plated meal.

A visit to the meat counter at my local market had me staring at a case full of roasts, none of which resembling the cut from Germany. I described how the piece of meat looked and that it was melt in your mouth tender even after a short cook time. It was lean and uniform in the shape of a rectangle and was three to four inches thick. My butcher thought it might have been a thick cut sirloin steak. I’m still not sure, but I chose a tri-tip  to replicate this simple dish.

I’m no stranger to tri-tips. I’ve reverse seared them, and I’ve Santa-Maria’d them on the grill. I’ve cooked them in a crockpot for a long roast. They’ve always been full of flavor and tender in texture. The tri-tip didn’t disappoint for this quick oven roasted meal. I simply slathered the roast with Dijon mustard, generously covered it with fresh stalks of rosemary and thyme and cooked it uncovered in a 350-degree oven until the meat thermometer reached 135 degrees. When using a tri-tip, make sure you slice the meat against the grain to serve.

roast beef with broccoli

It’s amazing how the herbs and spices infused flavor deep into the meat for a delicious entree. It’s a perfect recipe for entertaining. The photo above is the mystery cut and the plated meal from our cooking school in Germany. The beef is sided with broccoli and carrots topped with slivered almonds, and homemade spaetzle topped with caramelized onions.

Oven Roasted Tri-Tip with Rosemary and Thyme

Here’s my copycat meal at home. As you can see the cuts of meat are very different, but the flavor of the tri-tip was just as savory and tender as what I had in Germany. That spaetzle is from a bag, Maggi brand that we found at Cost Plus World Market here in Denver. It was very good, and next time I make it, you’ll see those caramelized onions on top.

Before we went to our afternoon-long cooking school in Heidelberg, Germany, a few of us took a long hike up the hillside.  Please join me for a photo tour of that beautiful morning.

Hike in Heidelberg

I took this photo from my third-floor hotel room in Heidelberg right before we were leaving for a hike. Hotel Villa Marstall had a feel of luxury and history and may have been my favorite hotel of the trip. My room faced the Neckar River which is a major tributary to the Rhine. See that hill across the river? Marion, Kirsten, Kathy and myself decided we’d hike it the morning before our cooking school. Oh but wait, here comes the sculling team, better get a photo of that before I leave. The blue boat to the side is equipped with a man and a megaphone loudly yelling orders in German.

Hike in Heidelberg

Leaving the hotel we walked just a few blocks along the river towards the famous Old Bridge. The towers you see mark the entrance to the bridge.  I was told one tower contains dungeons and the other only a spiral staircase.

The Old Bridge, Heidelberg

This shot was taken once we crossed over the bridge, looking back at the towers and city of Heidelberg. With it’s sandstone arches, it’s spectacular. And don’t you love that orange building peeking out behind the towers?

Trail at Heidelberg

Heading up the hill, you find yourself on this picturesque trail lined with stone walls and a cobblestone path. We meadered, wandered and wobbled our way up the 45-degree sloped Philosopher’s Walk. Kirsten told us it was named because the professors and philosophers from the college, walked there, perhaps using the solitude of the forest and the incredible views of the city and surrounding area for inspiration. From left to right, Kirsten, Kathy and Marion.

Chestnut in Heidelberg
I’ve never seen a chestnut before. They littered the path as we hiked the hill.
Orchard in Heidelberg

About half way up the hill, the trail opened up into an apple orchard.  Heidelberg’s oceanic climate is very suited for orchards and vineyards.

Hillside view of Old Bridge in Heidelberg

Once at the top we had incredible panoramas of the city.  This is a shot looking back at the Old Bridge.

view of Heidelberg from trail

One of these buildings is our hotel.  I knew which one at the time.  I think it’s the yellow building in the middle with the white car in front.

Castle in Heidelberg

Everywhere you go in Heidelberg, the massive ruins of the famous Heidelburg Castle loom over you. This is a zoomed photo on a hazy day. Stay tuned, as we took a guided tour the castle the next day.

Oven Roasted Tri-tip with Rosemary and Thyme…It’s What’s for Dinner.

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  1. says

    Lea Ann, our hotel was the yellow house on the very right. It also has a white car in front of it. I really loved our walk that morning. Your roast looks wonderful! I didn’t read that you made Maggi Spaetzle out of a bag, correct? (Especially after you just learned how to make them from scratch on our visit to Germany.) 😉

  2. says

    What a wonderful tour! Loved all those colorful buildings and that castle. I can’t wait for the next “installment.” That roast sounds delicious – I know how I’m going to make my next tri-tip. :)

  3. says

    Thanks for both the lovely memories and photos! One day it was the beginning of our trip and then it went so quickly….I’ll have to try the roast when I get home 😉

  4. says

    Never tried tri tip in the oven but I bet it would be a great roast, it’s got such great texture and beef flavor. Great pictures from Germany too, what a memorable experience.

  5. says

    The tri-tip looks delicious and hard to go wrong using it. Your great photos brought back some good memories of our visits to Heidelburg when Madison was a baby – so I guess about 14 years ago.

  6. says

    Lee Ann, so glad to read that you were in Heidelberg Germany. I’m Yvette’s sister and have lived in Germany for 2 1/2 years now. We always enjoy visiting Heidelberg and especially love the square during the Christmas market season and summer. You must come visit again. Hugs, V

    • says

      I knew you lived in Germany, but weren’t sure where. Heidelberg and the Black Forest were my favorite parts of that trip. What a beautiful area. I’d love to go back at Christmas.

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