Originally from Croatia, Zinfandel is now best known as a California grape. It’s full bodied, high alcohol and packed with big fruit flavors.
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I love Tri Tip steaks, and this Red Wine Marinated Tri Tip steak is one of the most common ways our fans like to prepare this delicious hunk of beef. If you know about Tri Tips, there’s a decent chance you first learned about them in California, where they’re super popular. Another super popular item from California is red wine. Put together, red wine and tri tip become an incredibly flavorful meal that’ll feed a crowd.
Tri tip steaks come from the sirloin portion of a beef animal. They’re triangular in shape, if you couldn’t guess from the name, and are a certified lean cut of beef, which is awesome for people watching fat intake. They possess deep beef flavor, which I love, and are moderately tender, which is a great combination. To get the best out of this steak, we recommend thinly slicing it across the grain of the meat to help make it easier to chew.
The red wine marinade part of this Red Wine Marinated Tri Tip is a simple recipe. At Lake Geneva Country Meats, we want to be honest about home marinades. It’s important to know that they don’t tenderize meat and they only add flavor to the outside of the meat. That’s okay though, because the flavor on the outside is delicious and these facts mean you don’t need to do a long, overnight marinade to get the flavor you want. Just let the meat rest in the marinade for 30 minutes – one hour, and you’ll end up with great flavor on the outside of the meat with a bit “juicier” mouthfeel.
Tri Tips are a big hunk of meat and need a little extra care on the grill. They’re a bit too thick to just be quickly seared on each side, but they’re not really a “cook low and slow in a crock pot” type of cut either. For this red wine marinated tri tip steak recipe, we recommend a two step or two zone cooking method where you start cooking the meat over indirect heat to bring it up to temperature, then a final, quick sear over high heat to finish the steak. If you want to cook a Tri Tip low and slow, check out our Smoked Chimichurri Tri Tip Steak recipe – it’s probably my favorite tri tip recipe!
A Red Wine Marinated Tri Tip Steak needs to be paired with red wine! For the marinade, we recommend just using an inexpensive dry red wine. It really won’t matter if you use “good” wine or even “every day” wine – just use something very affordable that isn’t flawed. However, to drink with the steak, we recommend a Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon from California. There are big flavors in this beef and big flavors in the wine. They work together perfectly. I also like to serve this with oven roasted vegetables like red potatoes and Brussels sprouts, but you pick your own favorite sides.
If you’ve never cooked a tri tip steak before, this Red Wine Marinated Tri Tip steak recipe is a great place for you to start. It’s easy to make and in our opinion incredibly delicious. If you’re looking for other recipe ideas, we have plenty of tri tip steak recipes, or you can learn more about the cut and recipe ideas on the Beef Council’s website. We hope you enjoy the recipe and leave us a comment with your thoughts. We appreciate your feedback. Cheers – Nick.
Add all ingredients except the steak to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Place the steak in a large, sealable plastic bag and pour the marinade on top. Rub the marinade into the meat, and place in the refrigerator. Let rest for 30 minutes to an hour, then remove from refrigerator and take out of the marinade. Place the meat on a rack over a baking sheet and let the meat rest at room temperature while you prepare the grill.
Heat your grill to 425ºF with a two zone set up where one side of the grill has burners on (or coals if you’re using charcoal) and the other has no heat. Once the grill is hot, pat the steak dry and put the meat over the indirect heat side and cook for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Discard the marinade.
After 15 minutes of indirect heat cooking, move the steak to the direct heat side and sear for about 4 minutes per side, until the meat reaches 130ºF for medium rare or 140ºF for medium. We do not recommend cooking this steak beyond medium doneness.
Once the meat is done cooking, remove from the grill and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing. Cut the meat against the grain into thin strips and serve this red wine marinated tri tip with roasted vegetables like potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Enjoy!