Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Grilled Beef Tri-Tip with Charred Green Onion Bearnaise

Beef tri-tip is an outstanding cut of beef because it is so tender, almost like a tenderloin, but it has more of the beef flavor.  This is one that I grilled this Summer to slice and use in wraps. 

Great beef tri-tip recipe

The sauce is a variation of the classic Bearnaise sauce, usually I do the ’97 Joy of Cooking version.  Instead of the traditional tarragon, I used charred green onions, smashed garlic, and smoked black pepper to flavor the sauce.  I think this bolder flavor goes great with grilled beef.

If you don’t feel like putting together a double boiler or whisking egg yolks 6 to 8 minutes, I get it.  You could always just doctor some good mayonnaise with chopped grilled green onions, minced garlic, and smoked pepper then then it out with a little chicken stock for something that’s close. 

Using a fine finishing salt after the beef is sliced draws out the best flavor from the beef.  This time I used a blend of Himalayan pink salt and black pepper from a specialty store.  My Worcestershire sauce and shallot salt also goes very well with beef.

Grilled Beef Tri-Tip with Charred Green Onion Bearnaise

  • 1 whole beef tri-tip
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 green onions
  • Finishing salt

For the Bearnaise Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed whole
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1.5 tablespoons cold water
  • ½ cup warm clarified butter
  • Salt to taste

  1. Set up your grill for a two zone fire (one area directly above the coals and another area that is to the side of the coals.  Preheat it to 450-500°f. 
  2. Season the tri-tip all over with the black pepper, kosher salt, and granulated garlic.
  3. Sear the tri-tip directly over the hot coals for 3 to 4 minutes per side.  If you want nice cross hatch marks, rotate the roast a quarter turn halfway through (1.5 to 2 minutes) on each side.  Meanwhile grill the green onion until charred – about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Move the roast to the indirect heat side and let roast until the tri-tip hits an internal temperature of 125°f – about 45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, place a small skillet on a side burner or stove top.  Add the wine, white wine vinegar, the two white ends of the green onion, the smashed garlic clove, and ¼ teaspoon of black ground pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by 2/3rds (about 2 tablespoon remaining).  Remove from heat.
  6. Place a double broiler with 1” of water on a grill side burner or stove top and bring to a simmer.  I prefer to use a medium stock pot and a medium stainless steel mixing bowl stuck down into the pot as shown.  This is easier to whisk than a double boiler.
  7. In the mixing bowl/double boiler top OFF OF HEAT, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and water until they are thickened and frothy – about two minutes.  Don’t just stir, really whisk it as fast as you can.  Now put the bowl/double boiler top BACK ON HEAT onto the double boiler and continue whisking until the mixture becomes sauce like in texture – about 4 minutes.   Remove from heat.
  8. While continuously whisking, slowly drizzle in the warm clarified butter until it all has been blended in.  Then blend in 2 tablespoons of the chopped green onion tops and black pepper.  Taste and add salt as needed.
  9. Keep the sauce warm until ready to use.  A warm thermos or insulated drink cup works well for this.
  10. When the roast hits your internal temp (125f for medium rare, 135f for medium), which should take from 45 minutes to close to 1 hour, remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  11. Slice thinly, lightly sprinkle with finishing salt of your choice.
  12. You can serve as slices with some of the sauce or add lettuce, tomato, red onion, with a mission style tortilla to make wraps like we did.  

My weapon of choice this night was my Char-Broil Kettleman.  I've used it for a year and a half now and it is my favorite non-kamado charcoal grill.  It’s lightweight but has plenty of space, making it an ideal tailgate grill.  It’s also priced so it won’t break the bank.  I got mine for free as part of my sponsorship & compensation package but I would spend my own money on this in a heartbeat.

Char-Broil Half Time Chimney Starter
I fired up the grill with Char-Broil's new Center Cut Lump Charcoal.  It’s easy to light and gets to temp fast.  I bought a box at Lowe’s Home Improvement stores.  Yeah I said “box”.  It’s packaged that way so that rough handling in shipping and stocking doesn’t break it into a million little pieces.  You can findout more about it at Char-Broil's website. 

This tri-tip was HUGE weighing in at 4 pounds.  You shouldn't have to clean it up too much, just trim off any exterior pieces of fat.
Don't season it until just before grilling.  The salt will draw out moisture from the meat.  
I set my grill up for a two zone fire.  In a kamado grill I normally do a reverse sear because it's easier to get temps up than down.  In a kettle grill I usually do sear THEN roast because the grill temperatures are easier to drop than raise them.  

How to grill a perfect beef tri-tip
A quick sear directly over the coals - about 3-4 minutes per side with a quarter turn half way through for those pretty grill marks.

How to cook beef tri-tip
Since the ends are thinner than the middle, I point them away from the coals for even cooking during the roast portion.  Of course you want your grill lid closed during the roast.

A quick visual for you on the reduced wine and vinegar.  It started out as 6 tablespoons and ended up like this.  That is concentrated flavor.

Here's how to make a double boiler for the sauce.  There is about 1 inch of water in the bottom pot and you keep the water just simmering, not boiling.  It shouldn't touch the top bowl.

Easy bearnaise sauce recipe
When finished your sauce should coat the back of a spoon like this.

using my Char-Broil Kettleman grill
Towards the end of the roast, if your grill temp falls below 250f, just shift the roast back closer or even on top of the coals.

Ready to eat!

Beef Tri-Tip will rise in internal temperature 5 to 7 degrees after you take it off of the grill.
The TRU Infrared grill grates on the Kettleman create beautiful grill marks, don't you think?

Sliced thin and drizzled with the charred green onion bearnaise for a wrap.

Here’s a tri-tip uhhhh tip:  Only slice what you need when it’s hot and leave the rest of the roast whole.  It’s easier to slice it thinly while the tri-tip roast is cold and firm.  Then use a razor sharp slicing knife or slicer and shave the meat as thin as you can.  This stuff makes amazing roast beef sandwiches or cheese steak sandwiches. 

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] Char-Broil is one of my sponsors and I receive compensation for this post.