If you are from the central coast of California, particularly the Santa Maria area you are no doubt familiar with the Tri Tip roast. The Tri Tip is gaining more and more popularity across the country.
Generally speaking the Tri Tip is a fairly inexpensive cut of meat that comes from the bottom of the sirloin somewhat near the pelvic region of the steer. Texture-wise it is somewhat similar to the brisket flat but it doesn’t have quite as much fat but it doesn’t have the nice, beefy flavor of the brisket. Flavor-wise it is probably a bit closer to a round roast. Since it isn’t a super bold flavorful cut and is fairly lean it can generally benefit from some sort of marinade or some heavy seasoning. I would probably go with a simple Asian type marinade with soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, oil, red pepper flake, and maybe a bit of garlic and maybe a bit of rice wine vinegar. Nothing too fancy but it will bring a lot of flavor.
The tri tip will usually be about 2 pounds or so. It can be cut into steaks as is popular in Europe and some people cut it into smaller pieces before cooking but I would probably cook it whole and do some sort of a reverse sear on it where you cook it almost to temp over low heat and then sear it over high heat. You can do this in the oven and with a cast iron skillet or on the grill. The tri tip isn’t a uniform thickness so you can get a wide range of doneness to accommodate a wide variety of tastes.
Not every grocery store or butcher will always have tri tip. If you are in California they should be plentiful and they are also popular in Hispanic communities (you can cut them into thin pieces for fajitas, tacos, etc.), and they are also in a lot of Costcos across the country.
If you can’t find a Tri Tip at your local grocery store you can always order one online. Generally speaking when you order online you will get a much higher quality of meat than you will at the store. Below you will see two great options for a Tri Tip. Snake River Farms has a 2 pound Tri Tip for $55 and Certified Steak and Seafood has a Certified Angus 1 lb Tri Tip for $29.16. Both of these cuts are some of the best meat you can buy and are worth the extra few bucks compared to what you would spend at the store.
Special: On August 19th only Snake River Farms is offering up to 30% off their Tri Tip roasts so you can get their tri tip roast for only $39.00. And if you really want to splurge you can go with the American Kobe tri tip (higher than Prime grade) for $49. And you can get free shipping on any order with code FREEAFF.
Try this cut out today and expand your beef game beyond the standard steaks with a Tri Tip.