Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weather last week (Seriously, Spring, make up your melon.) gave way to meteorological perfection for Memorial Day, which was the clearest sign imaginable that I was meant to break out the grill. Our freezer has no shortage of candidates for such an endeavor, but I decided something special was in order to pay proper tribute to grilling season, so out came the Wagyu tri-tip I’d been saving for the right occasion.
Tri-tip is a thick, nicely marbled cut popular in California, but isn’t something you normally see around here. I had the opportunity to buy one from Lone Mountain Wagyu when it was featured in a Blackboard Eats email and believe me, I jumped on that deal with both feet! Something new to me and Wagyu, to boot? I’m almost certain I placed the first order after the special went live.
Then I waited. And waited some more. Sure, I could have cooked it in the kitchen à la Bittman at any time over the past few months, but our hood drowns out noise more effectively than it removes smoke, so holding out for “summer” gave me the opportunity to practice patience each time I opened the freezer door. Oh, but the waiting is the hardest part.
I decided to go for the simplest Santa Maria-style preparation imaginable, rubbing the steak with nothing more than one part garlic powder to two parts each salt and pepper. That blend tasted right to me, though you may want to change things up a bit. Next time around (and there will be a next time), I’ll try the blend recommended at Simply Recipes. I wanted to keep things very basic for my first time out, though, to really taste the beef without much interference.
I seasoned it pretty aggressively because it’s such a thick cut of meat — a roast, really, more than a steak. As recommended at Simply Recipes, I seared it over high heat on all sides, then covered the grill and cooked over low heat, flipping every five minutes or so, until the interior temperature registered 125-130 degrees. (I like my meat a little bloody.) I took it off the grill and loosely tented it with foil while I made a big Greek salad that let us pretend we were eating with health in mind. To cut through what I knew would be a very rich experience, I made my standard chimichurri with shallots subbed for onions and without the red bell pepper.
I feel I’m stating the obvious, but it was an i n s a n e l y good meal. I’m no stranger to grilled meats, but this might be the best I’ve turned out yet, all thanks to Lone Mountain Wagyu. Do check them out if you’re feeling indulgent or are looking for something amazing to serve your friends at a summer cookout. Their animals are treated humanely and pasture-raised, so the only guilt I felt at this meal was caloric. But even then, it was only a small twinge, easily ignored in the face of such beauty.