Tri Tip Steak
Hope this isn't too late...
We happen to love tri tip, and fix it many different ways. One is to coat it with Paul Prudhomme's blackened prime rib seasoning:
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsps. salt
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsps. white pepper
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsps. whole fennel seeds
1 Tbsp. plus 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 1/2 tsps. dry mustard
2 1/2 tsps. cayenne pepper
2 tsps. garlic powder
This is plenty for more than one tri tip. I keep the extra in a labeled jar. Mix everything together in a small bowl and coat the meat on both sides, then grill. It is even good done in the oven, turning up the heat to broil at the end for about a minute.
Another recipe we like for tri tip is more Greek in nature. Squeeze the juice of one large lemon all over the meat, coat both sides with olive oil. Then sprinkle on salt, pepper, finely minced fresh garlic and oregano leaves, add a little dry white wine and let marinate for about an hour or more.
The tri-tip steak you are referring to is a tri-tip roast cut into pieces. They're kind of hour-glass (or more dog-bone, actually) shaped. Grill them on a charcoal or gas grill over high temperature for a few minutes per side, then slather in garlic butter while the meat rests. They're delicious.
Tri-tip is not the same as a flank steak, but both are rear of the ribs on the animal. The trip tip is part of the loin found on the back of the animal and the flank is from the belly.
A beef tri-tip roast is a boneless cut of meat from the bottom sirloin. It also is called "triangular" roast because of its shape. Some cut the roast into steaks, usually 1 to 1-1/2" thick.
The tri-tip sirloin is pictured (#4) in the link below, as is the flank steak (#9).
They are quite different from each other in flavor, grain, and fat marbeling. Tri-tip is said to be more flavorful and tender than a flank steak.
Grilling a tri tip roast is not easy because of the thickness, but trip tip steaks make for good grilling. And, there is no need to marinate.
The flank steak is tougher and is better when marinated before cooking and then cut across the grain after.
Hope that helps. There is much information on the web (search for "Beef cuts" in Google) from charts to descriptions to recipes. See also, http://www.procutlery.com/CutsChart.htm
Here's a prizewinning recipe that's wildly popular here at Rude Manor...
* Exported from MasterCook *
GRILLED TRI-TIP SANTA MARIA STYLE
Recipe By : Pete Rudow
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 pounds Tri-tip roast
4 cloves garlic -- crushed with flat of knife
fresh-ground black pepper
3 tb ground cumin
3 tb ground cayenne pepper
Buy the biggest tri-tip you can find for this recipe. Trim all the fat off the top. Crush the garlic doves and rub the crushed cloves all over the meat so it is well coated with garlic oil. Press the broken doves into the surface of the meat so they adhere to it while it marinates.
Cover the surface of the meat with kosher salt. It's hard to use too much. Generously grind black pepper all over meat. Sprinkle the cumin and cayenne in a thin layer that covers the surface of the meat. Press the garlic and spices into the surface of the meat. Repeat on the other side, then let the meat rest and absorb the spices for ½ an hour.
While the meat is resting prepare a very hot fire (oak is traditional, I use mesquite). Do not skimp on coals or heat. Let the coals get covered with white ash, spread them out on one side of the grill, and place the Tri-tip on the pre-heated uncovered grill. Try not to lose spices or garlic when you place the meat on the grill. If your fire is steakhouse-hot that's OK, desirable even, but place the meat on the edge of the coals so you can control the charred crust that you want to form.
Sear the first side for 2-3 minutes. Turn the meat and sear the second side for 2-3 minutes, then turn again and grill for 5 minutes. Turn the meat once more and cover for another 4-5 minutes.
20-25 minutes total cooking time should give you a piece of meat with a deliciously charred crust and pink, juicy insides. Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before you slice it. This allows the juices to set in the meat. Slice on the bias (across the grain) and be sure to pour any juices over the meat.
You need to be viewing recipes in list/category view, *not* book view (as if it was an open cookbook with pages you turn). Open the recipe, then just go to Edit/Copy, and paste into the post here on Chowhound.
I believe that's right - I'm saying this from memory, as I don't have MasterCook on my work computer. :-)
Go to the MasterCook recipe that you want to post and just click Edit in the MC toolbar above the recipe and then click "Copy Recipe" from the pull down menu that appears. Go to the Chowhound Message posting or replying window (the white rectangle next to "Message:") and right click. Then click "Paste" and the recipe will be in the window and you can post it.