Holy wowsers. This tri-tip steak knocked my socks off and into the laundry. (I heard Paula Dean say that on NPR recently!) They turned out tender and juicy and were really easy to make.
When I picked up an inexpensive package of three small steaks at Trader Joe's I wasn't sure what to expect. I've never made tri-tip before. Raised by vegetarians, meat was the exception in my house growing up, so I didn't get exposed to cooking techniques or the multitude of different cuts available. So after a quick internet search, I decided to wing a spice rub and throw these guys on the grill. I didn't measure anything so use your judgment based on the number of steaks you are using. The salad is made with mesclun greens from the greenmarket tossed with a flax seed vinaigrette, sliced red peppers, mushrooms and scallions.
One part each: ground coriander, ground ginger & garlic powder
1/4 part: cayenne pepper (or use ground sichuan peppercorns, if available.)
salt & ground pepper to taste
Put the steaks in a plastic bag with the spice rub, turning and massaging the rub into the meat. Refrigerate. When the grill is ready, put the steaks on over the hottest part. Cook for a few minutes on each side, then move to a cooler part of the grill. Cover and cook to desired temperature. (Poke the meat with your finger, if it gives easily it's rare, if it's hard it's well done. I prefer medium or medium rare. Practice touching your meat (haha) every time and eventually you'll know by feel when it's where you want it. Also, don't forget that the meat will cook a bit further once you take it off the grill.) Remove and let the steaks rest for 5 minutes. I sliced mine against the grain to eat with my salad the next day. Best enjoyed outside.