Each year in ANSC 117, Texas Barbecue, we spend one class discussing cuts of beef other than the brisket that can be used for smoking/barbecuing. Since we have had Crystal Waters, a native of California and a Ph.D. student with us in our program, we have featured beef tri-tips and let her help prepare them and talk about the importance of tri-tips for folks in California.
Crystal told the class how tri-tips became so popular in California because of their ease of preparation and how great they are to eat, especially on sandwiches. The bread of choice for tri-tip sandwiches is sourdough, which is another great product that California is known for. Crystal said that almost any special event in California will feature tri-tips, and as a way of documenting this, she told the class that she had attended four weddings in California over the past several months and that each wedding had served tri-tips.
The official description of the tri-tips we used is IMPS 185D, Beef Loin, Bottom Sirloin Butt, Tri-Tip, Boneless, Defatted (IM). The latin name for the muscle is M. tensor fasciae latae. The tri-tips were cooked over direct heat on the Weber Performer® Gold grills, and were pulled at 135°F, wrapped in foil, and allowed to rest for about an hour before they were sliced.
The split toasted bread was dipped in garlic butter before being sliced into sandwich-sized pieces. The tri-tips were sliced with an electric slicer, and the pieces were placed on the bread to make a sandwich. The students really enjoyed the tri-tip sandwiches, and I expect that there will some prepared by them in the future.