I absolutely love this cut of beef. There are two tri-tip roasts on each cow. They come from the bottom of the sirloin area. It's a small triangular muscle that weighs in around 2 pounds. It's a very, very lean cut, but it has extraordinary big-beef flavor. I like cooking it as a roast, but in many parts of the country and in Europe, the roast is cut into steaks (again, because of that great, big-beef flavor).
Costco used to carry tri-tip on a regular basis. Then last year it inexplicably vanished from the stores. So lately I make the trip to Byerly's or Cub to pick up a tri-tip. This cut is incredibly easy to grill or roast in the oven. See here: http://terrygruggen.blogspot.com/2011/02/tri-tip-roast.html. In fact, those are the only two ways I have cooked them for years. But yesterday I decided to cook the roast in my Cookshack electric smoker. Look what I got after just 45 minutes:
The hickory smoke-infused meat was absolutely astounding. It took that great beef flavor to the power of 10. I served it up with some charred corn on the cob (http://terrygruggen.blogspot.com/2014/05/charred-corn-with-basil-lime-butter.html). And then we washed it down with a big fruity Zinfandel. What a meal!
1, 2 lb. tri-tip, trimmed (see raw photo above)
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 ounces hickory wood (chunk, not chips)
- Combine all ingredients (except meat and wood) and mix to form a paste.
- Rub the mixture all over, pressing it into the meat. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat your smoker to 275°F. Unwrap the meat and place it on the rack. Smoke-cook for 45 minutes. Remove meat, tent with foil and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then thinly slice on the bias and serve.
Wine pairing: California Zinfandel. A Turley if you're really lucky.