This month Rube’s Grill Shop is launching a new cut of steak, called the Tri-Tip. Named for its three points, the tri-tip is a versatile cut of beef that can be slow cooked or grilled like a steak.
This cut of meat comes from black Angus, Iowa-raised beef and is cut from the lower sirloin. The beef is shaped kind-of like a boomerang. In the photo above, you can see the signature three points.
The meat is thinner near the outside points and thicker in the center. Due to the variation in thickness, this cut of meat cooks irregularly. While you might think this is a negative, it’s actually very helpful when cooking for people who prefer different degrees of doneness. When the center is medium-rare, the ends are more well done. It has become my go-to steak to serve at a dinner party!
Cuts of sirloin are more affordable than ribeye or filet mignon, which makes this an economical yet impressive way to feed a crowd. Each tri-tip ranges in size from 2 to 3 pounds. One steak easily serves my family of four. Because tri-tip is so large, Rube's offers this cut exclusively through the Grill Shop and RubesSteaks.com. It's not available on our steakhouse menu.
So what’s the best way to prepare a tri-tip? I prefer to treat it like a steak. I season with Rube’s Signature Meat Rub and put it on the grill at a high temperature to develop a sear. Then I turn down the temperature until the meat reaches my preferred level of doneness. Below is a picture of two tri-tips fresh off the grill, just before I cover them loosely with aluminum foil to rest a few minutes before slicing.
I find that this meat is plenty tender when cooked to medium rare, but it’s important to slice against the grain.
Here you can see the grains of the meat running from the top left of the picture to the bottom right. To slice the steak, it’s important to cut across the grain, going the opposite direction of the grains. The grains tend to change direction mid-way through the tri-tip, so you might have to adjust how you’re carving partway through. That ensures a tender bite.
If you have time, slow smoking is another great way to prepare tri-tip. You can simply season and smoke, or marinade for the day you plan to cook for added flavor.
I recently served a seasoned and grilled tri-tip alongside a marinated and slow smoked tri-tip to guests. My husband made a marinade with lemon juice, seasonings and soy sauce. Both versions were juicy and delicious!
Tri-tip is a hearty cut that holds up well to sauce. My favorite is chimichurri made with parsley, oil and the bold flavors of garlic, red pepper and vinegar. Chimichurri is rooted in Argentina, which is where I also draw inspiration for what to drink alongside tri-tip. Argentinian Malbec is delicious alongside tri-tip. If you would rather enjoy a cocktail, consider sticking with the South American theme and shaking up a caipirinha. The cocktail is made with Brazilian rum known as cachaca, lime and sugar. It’s similar to a mojito, but without the mint. It’s refreshing and citrusy and perfect for the summer grilling season. You can find Cachaca, such as this Leblon brand, in most liquor stores.
Tri-Tip deserves a place on your grill this summer! Try it and discover the flavor and versatility of this delicious steak.