Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Day, Another Tri-tip

Most of my readers ought to know by now that I'm a big-time barbecue fan. Not the type that just enjoys eating it though, I love actually firing up the grill (charcoal of course!) and watching those beautiful cuts of meat sizzle and sear.

Tri-tip steaks have kind of become a family tradition. My Grandpa was the tri-tip master, my dad picked up that talent, and I like to think that I'm doing pretty well in my own right. The thing is, they're kind of expensive - around $3.50-4.00 per lb. That being the case I don't do them very often, but it's a special treat whenever I decide to buy a few.

Tonight I did one using a different method than my last two. I would normally use a very basic cajun rub before puting the tri-tip on the grill, but this time I decided to try a technique that is generally used on brisket.

I started by completely thawing the meat, then this morning I smeared some generic course mustard all over it, wrapped it in shrink wrap and put it in the fridge. The idea with the mustard is that the vinegar content will break down the meat fibers and make it more tender. Like I said, mustard is generally used on brisket, which requires a MUCH longer grilling time (roughly 10-14 hours, compared to about 20-30 minutes for a tri-tip). Still, I figured the mustard would have a similar tenderizing effect on my steak, so I gave it a try.

After I got home from church I gave the meat a few more hours (for a total of about 9 hours marinating time), then fired up the grill and began prepping it for cooking. The first step was to scrape off most of the mustard and then apply a rub on the moist meat. Here's the rub I used:

1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon chille powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 teaspoon cajun spice

You could modify this any way you want to. The main thing is just to get a pleasing blend of spices that will jazz up the flavor of your steak. This combination really worked well in my opinion.

I seared it over direct medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side, then gave it another 15-20 minutes of indirect heat to finish it off. I was aiming for an internal temperature of about 160, at which point I figured the steak would be about medium-well, just the way I like it. As an added touch, I brushed a bit of red wine over it toward the end to make sure it didn't get too dry.

The end result? A super-rich flavor with a hint of mustard and a great authentic steak texture. I loved it!


HeidiGrace said...

I'm hungry. :)

Jeff.n.Tia said...

And hey, you even made sure to get some veggies on your plate! Good job! ;) Most guys seem to forget their greens in my experience. That steak sure looks delicious!


Koch Family said...

Glad to see your eating veggies with your meat. Mrs. K