When the temperatures top 100 and the shade on our fishing grounds has given way to glaring sun, fishing slows and the conversation often drifts to what ifs. More than once we’ve opined on our fly of choice, if we were allowed to fish with only one fly. My choice is the Prince Nymph, because of its ease of tying with low cost materials, and its versatility in presentation, speaking to its effectiveness with many fish.
Given the same choices for beef, I imagine many people would choose a Porterhouse or bone-in Rib Eye.
I’d agree that the taste and texture of both is superb, but both are too fatty and too expensive to be properly considered a diet staple. At BBQ4Dummies.com we have three central mantras—cheap, easy to prepare, and healthy. Besides offering a fine deep flavor, the Tri Tip steak meets and greatly exceeds the above requirements.
Tri Tip, a part of the beef loin just north of the hindquarters, is a household word in California. Originally cut for ground sirloin, butchers and grillers discovered the cut to be highly flavorful and relatively low in fat. Santa Maria Tri Tip , traditionally cooked over a red oak fire, has gained national prominence. Most outdoor chefs pick out a Tri Tip roast for the weekend’s cookout, passing by the less popular Tri Tip steak.
The Tri Tip steak, also known as the Culotte steak or bottom sirloin, is a strip about 1” wide and deep, cut from the Tri Tip roast. It has the rare characteristics of being very low fat when properly trimmed, yet offering extreme flavor when marinated, and remaining tender when properly cooked. I recently came across some great looking Tri Tip steaks at our local Safeway (Von’s in SoCal, Randall’s and Dominick’s in the Middle). Although not normally a fan of ungraded beef, $2.97 per pound for a 4.4 lb. tray was too enticing to pass up.Two secrets to award winning Tri Tip are 1) marinate for 48 hours , and 2) never cook past medium .
Two secrets to award winning Tri Tip are 1) marinate for 48 hours , and 2) never cook past medium . The marinade, slightly modified from The Complete Meat Cookbook has become a strong favorite within our group of family and friends. Cooking should be over extremely hot coals, or flame grilled as I prepare mine. About 5 minutes per side will yield a perfectly done medium-rare Tri Tip.
INSTRUCTIONS and RECIPE
First, trim the steak of all visible fat around the edges.Using a Steve Raichelen Marinade Turbocharger or a thin knife blade, penetrate all surfaces of the steak to allow the marinade to be properly absorbed. Prepare the following marinade, and refrigerate with the steaks in a non-reactive container for 48 hours.
Jack Daniel’s Rancher’s Marinade
Combine the following in a medium sized saucepan to treat approximately 2.5 lbs. of steak.
3 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs Dijon mustard
¼ cup Jack Daniel’s (or any strong bourbon)
1/3 cup Soy Sauce ( I prefer Aloha brand, Hawaiian Soy)
2 tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tbs. Worchestershire/A-1
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tbs. minced red onion
1 tbs. minced garlic
1 tbs. minced ginger
1 tbs. salt
2 tsp pepper
½ tsp. liquid smoke
Cook over hot coals as shown above. Double wrap in aluminum foil, and let set for 20-60 minutes so the juices will disperse within the steak for improved flavor. Goes great withJR’s Smoked Rice and Barbequed Green Beans.
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