The Tom Young Sandwich

The 14th Annual A Wine And Food Affair came to Kendall-Jackson and Sonoma this past weekend. Wineries from all over the county participated, paring great wine with great food. This is always a fun event for me, and I’m always happy to participate.

We were serving a couple of different dishes. At the K-J Tasting Room in Healdsburg, we served up shredded red wine braised short rib with a truffled celery root puree paired with our Highland Estates Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Here at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center, we made a sandwich that’s quickly becoming a fan favorite in these parts.

Our Kobe Tri-Tip Sandwich with Cabernet Braised Red Cabbage and Blue Cheese & Buttermilk Dressing, a.k.a. the “Tom Young” Sandwich, was a hit. It already won a few awards, including the People’s Choice Award at the 2nd Annual Wine Country Big Q and Double Gold at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. We pair it with our Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.

Below is the recipe — enjoy!


Kobe Tri-Tip Sandwiches with Cabernet Braised Red Cabbage and Blue Cheese & Buttermilk Dressing, a.k.a., the Tom Young Sandwich
Paired with Kendall-Jackson Highland Estates Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Our favorite tri-tip comes from Snake River Farms in Boise, Idaho.  They use American Wagyu beef, often called American Kobe beef, and the quality is amazing.  The richness of the Kobe beef pairs wonderfully with the tangy Cabernet braised red cabbage and funky blue cheese in these sandwiches.

Serves 6

For the tri-tip

  • 1 (2½ to 3 lb.) tri-tip
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Remove tri-tip from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat grill to high heat. Pat the tri-tip dry with paper towels.
  2. Rub the tri-tip with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill over high heat for 4 minutes, flip the tri-tip and cook for 4 minutes more. Move the tri-tip to a medium-low heat area on your grill and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 134⁰F.
  3. Remove from grill, loosely tent with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

For The Braised Red Cabbage

  • 1 Tbsp. bacon fat (or olive oil)
  • ½ red onion, julienne
  • ½ Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 lb. red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 sachet containing: 1 bay leaf, 4 juniper berries, 3 black peppercorns
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/8 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the bacon fat, onion and salt. Sauté until soft, without browning, approximately 4 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add the cabbage and sachet to the pot, stir and wilt cabbage slightly, approximately 4 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar, wine, pomegranate molasses and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until liquid reduces almost completely. Discard sachet and rosemary sprig.

For The Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 1 lb. crumbled blue cheese, such as Point Reyes Original Blue
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup chives, minced
  • ½ cup scallions (including green), minced
  • ¼ cup shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients. This dressing is best made the day before and refrigerated overnight.

To Assemble
Toast or grill some hearty bread, such as ciabatta rolls. Spoon the cabbage on the bottom slice of bread, layer with tri-tip and top with blue cheese dressing and remaining slice of bread.