My brother lived in Lompoc, CA years ago. Whenever we discussed grilling, he would always talk about tri-tip. Here in sunny Florida, I had no idea what he was talking about. I would ask at the local grocery meat department and they didn't carry it. Finally I went to visit his family and he grilled his famous tri-tip. I was hooked. I'm glad he grilled two because I think I ate a whole one. Finally, in the last few years I have been able to find it at my local grocery store and have been trying to perfect my grilling of this tasty treat.
Fast forward to last Valentine's Day, when my wife and I happened to walk into 4 Rivers Smokehouse. Tri-tip was on the menu, so I had to order it. It was unbelievable. After talking with the staff, and purchasing John River's book, I found we had a similar grilling style, the difference was his Coffee Rub. I won't even try to duplicate it; I just buy it from them.
Start by covering the steak with a light coating of the 4 Rivers Coffee Rub. Let the meat rest until room temperature.
Prepare the smoker with lump charcoal and hickory chunks soaked in water.
Let the temperature regulate to 220 degrees and smoke for about a half hour.
When the temperature is right, put one yellow and one red tomato in a small cast iron pan and coat with a couple tablespoons olive oil. Smoke for ten minutes, then remove from heat and peel skins. Place back on the smoker for another ten minutes.
Place tri-tip in smoker and smoke for about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 110 degrees.
Remove from smoker and marinate with:
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Let rest for 20 minutes while you heat up your grill to a medium high heat.
When the grill is about 450 degrees, grill each side for about 6 to 10 minutes, until an internal temperature of about 140 degrees. When the meat has a nice char, remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. The internal temp will rise about 8 to 10 degrees.
Cut thin slices against the grain. Cover with salsa.
Dice the tomatoes into small chunks and mix with:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white balsamic lemon infused vinegar
2 tablespoons fine diced sweet onion
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pinch red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons finely diced bell pepper
Drizzle salsa over slices and sprinkle with finely diced cilantro.
Find yourself a tri-tip and enjoy this tasty cut of beef. You'll be glad you did.