Up until a few years ago, the TriTip cut of meat, the bottom cut of the sirloin, wasnt readily available in the midwest. It’s generally been a West Coast cut, Santa Maria, California, more specifically, and if you lived on the east coast, you were at the mercy of mail order to get it. But over the past few years, TriTip has become more available and is now just another choice as far as us “grillers” are concerned.
The TriTip is a very dense piece of beef and can take a goodly dose of seasoning, so with that in mind, I can give you this “Coffee and Cocoa Rubbed TriTip”.
For the rub, I took a basic coffee rub used mainly on a brisket, from Steve Raichlin, and modified it to what I had on hand.
The recipe called for :
- 3 Tbs Coffee Grounds (I used Starbucks Espresso Decaf)
- 1 Tbs Kosher, or Sea Salt
- 1 Tbs Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Spicy Paprika
- 1 tsp Course Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Pepper
- 1 tsp Onion Powder (I used minced onion)
- 1/2 tsp cocoa powder (I used dark)
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Coriander
Mix the dry ingredients really well. Take a few minutes and whisk them into a frenzy. Make whatever noises you want, it’ll be worth it to get these ingredients all woven together intimately. Coat the meat generously and let sit in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.When it comes time to start the grill, set it up for indirect grilling. This was strictly my choice. TriTip can be, and is frequently directly grilled as well. With the grill around 350 degrees, I put the meat on the cooler side of the grill, over a drip pan. If a more traditional, brown sugar based rub is used, I would first sear this meat on all sides to bark it up, but with the coffee grounds involved, I’m leary to do that because I don’t want the grounds to burn and import that burnt coffee flavor into the meat. This time, we’ll let the rub do what it’s supposed to do, slowly carmelize and form a crust on the outside of the meat.
About halfway through, flip the meat. This will be the only time doing this. Close the lid, and, well, after smelling the TriTip cooking for 30 minutes now, and realizing that this seems to be going pretty well, I’m thinking about grabbing a little sump’n sump’n to quench my thirst. This is a dense meat, with some big flavor that we’re putting on it, so let’s not go with something wimpy here. A nice, full-bodied beer, thinking along the lines of a Schlafly Oktoberfest would work perfectly with this.
If a beer isn’t for you, hey, a Cabernet would elevate the dinner as well. We chose………..
But, back to the TriTip, because that’s what we’re here for, right? Right? Yes, that’s right. Just nod your head and continue….
When the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, it’s time to put the drink down and spring to action. I know that temp seems a bit low for beef, and I thought so too, but trust me, now is the time to take the meat and move it directly over the coals.
Put just a little sear on all sides of the meat. After this, take the meat off the grill and drape it with some foil and let it rest a good 10 minutes. This not only allows the juices to get reabsorbed into this dense piece of meat, but it allows the TriTip to continue to cook just enough to get to the medium range. Then, put out the dogs, call in the guests, and let the salivating begin, because this is what you get after removing the foil.
All that’s left is the supporting cast, and as I said, a hearty piece of meat deserves hearty complements, and in this instance, it was twice baked potatoes with whole beans and carrots.
The meal turned out wonderful, and why wouldn’t it, because
“Life Is Better Wood Fired”.