Making beef for a family dinner can get expensive. But with tri-tip, an often underused cut of beef, you can prepare inexpensive beef dinners that are full of flavor and won’t take a lot of time to cook.
What is tri-tip?
Tri-tip beef is a boneless cut that comes from the bottom of the sirloin and is triangular in shape (often being called triangle roast). The whole roast is typically about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds in weight and about 2-inches thick.
Tri-tip is relatively in expensive and goes a long way when thinly sliced. You may not always see tri-tip in your local grocery or butcher store, so ask the butcher and there is a good chance it will be it in the back.
How to prepare tri-tip beef
A great way to prepare tri-tip beef for cooking is to marinate it. Tri-tip is a very lean meat so it dries out easily, but marinating it helps keep it moist and of course add great flavors to the meat.
Mexican flavors work well with tri-tip, so try using some spice in your marinade or even simpler, use pre-made Italian dressing. A Soy sauce marinade combined with Asian flavors is also delicious. Or a garlicky balsamic vinaigrette or a red wine marinade with fresh herbs works well. If you don’t want to marinade the steak, you can simply sprinkle with salt and pepper or some fresh herbs.
How to cook tri-tip beef
Tri-tip beef can be cooked a variety of ways including grilling, roasting, and broiling. But because tri-tip is very lean, you have to be careful not to overcook it. But marinating will help keep it juicy and moist. One of the best ways to cook tri-tip is to grill it because it won’t take very long and it will stay moist.
The tri-tip roast can be cooked whole or cut into steaks or thin strips. To cook it whole, grill over medium heat for about 30 to 35 minutes, roast over 425 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes, or boil about 5 inches from the flame for 25 to 30 minutes, being sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, no matter what you method you use.
To cook individual steaks, cut them about an inch thick and grill or cook in a pan over medium heat for about 4 minutes per side. Slicing the roast into thin strips, between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick is a very versatile way to cook tri-tip because it can be skewered and grilled, stir-fried, or used in stews, sandwiches, or tacos.