Tri tip's not something I knew an awful lot about in my previous life but I've had some edumacatin' over the last 11 years. I'm not sure the cut wasn't just called "rump" aka stewing meat when I was growing up; however, now I know that it's a great grilling meat with a lot of flavor but certainly requires special treatment in that it needs all the tenderizing tricks you can come up with.
This particular version took to marinating in a highly acidic mixture of lime juice, soy and tequila with lots of flavors thrown in for good measure including cilantro, tons of garlic, cumin and oregano. Course there's also olive oil too because it is an incredibly lean piece of beef. The other necessity for cooking tri tip so it's at least edible, is to make sure not to cook it beyond medium rare, in fact the more rare the better. Sliced as thin as possible and served along with a fresh mini tomato relish, it was quite delicious.
Just don't expect it to be incredibly tender because you'll be mooing at the wrong part of the cow. It is the personification of toothiness. By the way, next time I make the relish I might add some anchovies and capers for a little more flavor, but that's neither here nor there. It's fine as it is too.
Grilled Tri Tip with Tequila Marinade (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup tequila
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 – 2 pound tri tip roast
Place lime juice, cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, tequila, garlic, lime peel, cumin, oregano and pepper into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until well combined. Trim tri tip of any silver skin or membrane, but leave fat, if any. Place roast in zip top bag and pour marinade over top. Marinate, flipping over as often as possible for a minimum 2 hours – more is better and overnight best.
To cook, remove meat from marinade. Grill approximately 6 to 8 minutes per side for rare over medium high heat. Remove to a board and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Cut across grain into very thin slices. Serve with Cherry Tomato Relish.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced roasted green chilies
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 cups cherry or mini plum tomatoes cut in half
Whisk vinegar, oregano together. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly. Add green chilies and onions. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to develop flavors. Just before serving add tomatoes. Add salt and pepper as required. Download Grilled Tri Tip w Tequila Marinade
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