This relatively inexpensive cut of meat has a great flavor and very little fat. Cut from the bottom sirloin, this roast normally got ground into hamburger. Legend has it that In the late 1950’s, the owner of a grocery store in Santa Maria, California, asked his butcher to find a new cut of meat that would put his market on the map. The “Santa Maria” steak was born. They soon renamed it the “tri-tip” because it has three corners. In Europe, they call it the “Triangle Roast.”
It became very popular and a little pricey in the last two decades, but it has recently come back to earth. A steer has only 2 of these, so it seems somewhat surprising that it doesn’t fetch more, given its taste and leanness.
A typical roast weighs 1.5-2.5 pounds and will yield over 90% of that in edible meat. You want to rub this roast and refrigerate it overnight. I prefer that you go to your dealer and buy two to three bottles of Green Mountain Beef Rub. I get a royalty for every bottle sold because it has my picture on it, so you can buy even more if you wish! Anyway, use part of one bottle and rub the tri-tip thoroughly.
Let the meat come to room temperature before you put it on the grill.
Cook it anywhere from 275 °-325°. At the higher end of this range you will get a pink center and dark perimeter, and at the lower temperature you will get more pink meat. Grill for 60-90 minutes. Do NOT overcook this. Use a meat thermometer and cook until 118 °-120 ° in the middle. It will continue to cook after you take it off the grill, so you should eat it right away. But you will enjoy it cold, too; just be aware that it will get darker as it cools.
Do not worry about searing – the grate will get much hotter than the surrounding air and will amply caramelize the sugars in the rub and in the meat’s surface.
Cut this across the grain in 1/8” slices. You can use the leftovers, if you have any, to make stroganoff, beef bourguignonne, or fajitas (be sure to use Green Mountain South of the Border Rub on the fajitas!)