Stout-Marinated Grilled Tri-Tip Recipe

Juicy, flavorful grilled beef and beer—it seems safe to say that’s a classic combination many people appreciate. So if you’re firing up the grill for dad this Father’s Day weekend or looking for a twist on a beef marinade that any meat-eating guest would enjoy, meat expert Bruce Aidells—the man who literally wrote the book The Great Meat Cookbook—has just the recipe and tips for cooking.

Tri-tip is a small roast from the bottom end of the sirloin. It has great flavor, no waste, and is very easy to carve, says Aidells, who created this recipe for Real Food. It takes well to marinades, so when he grills tri-tip, he usually marinates it for a day or more in a flavorful marinade followed by a simple dry rub. So if you can plan on the time, you will have the main course prepped and ready to grill ahead of time for tender, flavorful meat and a do-ahead part of the meal.  

“I have often seen marinade recipes that call for red wine but I don’t care for it as it can lend a bitter aftertaste. Rather, I prefer to use beer as a basic ingredient in my marinades. This recipe uses a dark stout beer, which has slightly bitter and caramel undertones that really complement the rich, beefy flavor of tri-tip,” says Aidells. Because tri-tip is fairly thick, he recommends not cooking it completely over direct heat since there is a high risk of burning the outside before the inside is cooked to the proper degree of doneness. Instead, sear the roast first and then complete the cooking over indirect heat, a process he calls “grill roasting.”

You can consider serving this roast with a full-flavored red wine such as Petit Syrah or Zinfandel, but Aidells likes to serve it with beer such as stout or ale. For side dishes, roasted or boiled new potatoes are a good choice and it also goes well with your favorite bean dish.

Stout-Marinated Grilled Tri-tip

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Stout Marinade
1 (12-ounce) bottle American Stout or 1 cup strong brewed coffee (see Cook’s Notes)
1/4 cup malt vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 large cloves)
1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

1 tri-tip beef roast (about 21/2 pounds)

Paprika and Cocoa Dry Rub
2 teaspoons Pimentón Vera (smoked Spanish Paprika) or Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended.

2. Using a sharp meat fork or skewer, puncture the meat all over on both sides. Place meat in a 1-gallon zipper lock bag. Pour over the marinade. Seal bag and shake and turn the bag so the meat is totally covered with the marinade. Place bag in a bowl in case it leaks and refrigerate overnight or up to 36 hours. Turn and shake bag occasionally.

3. For the rub: About 2 hours before you are ready to grill the tri-tip, make the rub by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Rub may also be made several days or up to two weeks ahead and stored in a sealed container.

4. Remove roast from the marinade and discard the marinade. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Coat the meat on all sides using the rub. Place on a tray or platter and rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.

5. To set up the grill for indirect cooking, place coals on one half of a covered grill or, if using a gas grill, preheat it by heating all the burners on high heat. When the gas grill is hot, turn off the middle section; if using charcoal, heat until coals are glowing hot. Do not remove the spice coating and lay the meat directly above the heat. Sear the meat for 3 minutes on each side and then transfer the roast to the area of the grill that has no fire. Cover and grill-roast (indirect grilling). After about 15 minutes, begin to check the internal temperature of the roast. When it registers 115°F to 120°F it will produce a mostly medium-rare roast after resting (thinner areas of the roast may be closer to medium doneness). If you prefer rare meat as I do, remove the roast when its internal temperature is 110°F to 115°F, which is perhaps after a total cooking time of around 25 to 26 minutes.

6. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and loosely cover with foil. Let rest at least 10 minutes and up to 15 minutes. The final internal temperature will reach 125°F to 130°F. Slice across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
• For an alcohol-free marinade, use 1 cup dark brewed coffee in place of the stout. This will also give the marinade a slightly bitter flavor, which works well with tri-tip.
• If you are lucky enough to have any leftovers, this makes great sandwiches or a nice addition to a mixed lettuce salad.

Nutrition info Stout-Marinated Grilled Tri-tip (per serving): CALORIES 322 (97 From Fat); FAT 11g (Sat. 3g); CHOL 134mg; SODIUM 414mg; CARB 3g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 53g

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.