Here's a revelation for you, out of all the grilling I've done, this is only the second tri-tip to hit my grill. In fact, the first one wasn't even mine, as Drew brought it to a Brew Day and I just cooked it for him. So, I suppose this recipe is essentially my "first." Sorta.
Although tri-tip is a popular and inexpensive cut of meat for grilling, I've had little experience with it because I almost never see it at the store. You can imagine how pleased I was when I stumbled onto one at Kroger. Without thought or plan, I threw it in my cart and took it home.
As legend has it, tri-tip is sort of a California "invention." While predominately ground into hamburger, it was eventually cut into steaks and then eventually used as a roast. Today it's a favorite of backyard grillers and pit-masters.
The tri-tip comes from the bottom sirloin. Think rear of the cow, almost to the top of the hind leg. It's a triangular muscle, which explains the origin of its name: triangle = tri-tip. It is also very, very tasty.
Tri-tip is a fairy lean piece of meat, so it's important not to overcook it. A marinade, or in my case, an injection, helps.
Coffee Rubbed Tri-Tip w/Rum Injection
From Another Pint Please
1 Tri-Tip beef roast
1 T red peppercorns
1 T black peppercorns
1 T granulated garlic
1 T coffee
1 t corriander seed
1 t kosher salt
2 oz rum
Although I'm calling for whole spices, ground will certainly work. The only difference is I like to grind my own.
Remove the meat from the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling.
Prep the grill for a 2 zone direct/indirect medium heat fire.
Using about 2 ounces of rum, inject the meat in multiple places.
Once injected, cover the meat with the combined rub ingredients.
Work the rub in over the entire surface. The entire surface, that means the sides too…no skimping!
With the meat rubbed, it's time to hit the grill.
Like with any roast, sear both sides over direct heat for a few minutes each, or until a nice crust forms.
Once both sides are seared, move the roast to indirect heat and continue cooking until you get an internal temperature of about 130 F.
Use the "down time" during the indirect part of the cook to grill some vegetables.
Probably one of the easiest sides in the word is a mix basket of vegetables. Slice up whatever you like, onions, broccoli, peppers, zucchini, peppers, carrots…the works. Season, oil, and grill over direct medium heat stirring occasionally. Twenty minutes or so and you have a "grilled" side dish.
When the meat reaches temperature, remove it from the grill, and allow it to rest about 10-15 minutes.
Once rested, start the craving.
The right cook temp and a proper rest should result in a perfect medium rare.
Which, with the lean nature of the meat, is really a necessity. Overcooked meat tends to be chewy. I want something that's going to melt in my mouth and not be a battle to swallow.
My final take on my "first" tri-tip? I loved it.
The texture of the tri-tip is different. Although lean, the meat is not dense and has a really nice mouthfeel. I also like the strong hit of coffee in my rub, and the distant rum flavor from the injection was a real treat.
Now that I know I can easily find tri-tip at the grocery, I can guarantee we will have future run-ins again.