Until a couple of years ago, I had never heard of Tri-tip. Maybe I live under a rock, or maybe it is an American cut that we don’t often see in Canada? It started showing up in many of the food magazines and cooking blogs I read, so I started to look for it in stores. Turns out, is always available at our local Costco now that I know to look for it. It is a flavourful cut and I am glad we finally discovered it.
Tri-tip is a triangular cut of meat, with a fairly decent fat cap, from near the sirloin part of the cow. Like flank steak, it needs to be sliced thinly, across the grain in order for it to be tender. The grain can change throughout the cut, so watch for that, and change the direction of your slicing accordingly.
These cooking instructions will give you a nice rare – medium rare finish, and we find that is the best cook for this cut.
Do not skip the resting part! Make your salad, warm your garlic bread, have another glass of wine…whatever you need to do to keep yourself from cutting into that meat before it has properly rested!! Resting gives the meat time to absorb its juices back into itself. Ignore this step, and all those flavourful juices will end up on the plate, instead of the meat, where they belong. Unless of course, you enjoy your a tasteless steak with a dry, grainy texture.
Tri-Tip with Smoked Paprika-Sesame Seed Rub and Chimichurri
For the steak
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 lb piece of tri-tip
For the Chimichurri
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon liquid honey
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare gas grill for indirect heat (leave one or two burners off). Place steak on one of the un-lit burners, cover and grill, turning only once, 20 – 30 minutes. An instant read thermometer, inserted into thickest part should read 115 F.
Move steak to direct heat and grill until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side. Temperature will increase to 120 F. Transfer to cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
While the steak is resting, toss the vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, oil and salt to taste together and mix well.
Serve sliced steak with chimichurri.