Made another tri tip earlier this week. We ate it with caramelized onions, petite peas, mashed potatoes and fresh heirloom tomatoes from our garden. A whole tri-tip will last the two of us at least a week, usually. It's great for leftovers (sandwiches, burritos, cold or reheated by itself).
Tips on the 'tip:
1. This time I cooked the tri tip for about 27 minutes (around 13 minutes on each side) over charcoal, with about 5 minutes rest, so total time of about 32 minutes. Came out medium rare to rare in the center. Probably could've been a bit more well done, but it was just past purple/wobbly but still pretty bloody.
I would recommend for next time, 30 minutes cooking time, 15 min per side, with a 5 minute rest, for a total time of 35 minutes.
Also, the coals were stacked on one end of the BBQ, and the tri tip was placed across the edge of the coals and the cool zone.
2. Petite Peas - Trader Joes has excellent "petite peas"; much sweeter and snappier flavor than the regular grocery style ones. Go for it!
3. Caramelized onions. Here was my technique: After the tri-tip is on the grill, slice two yellow onions in half. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat, add onions and toss in oil. Turn down heat to medium-low. Let slowly cook without stirring for about 5 minutes without turning. They will start to brown. Then season with salt & pepper. Now start stirring them every few minutes while they cook and to prevent burning. Once they are quite brown and soft (about 20 minutes), add about 1 tsp brown sugar and 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar. Cook for 2 minutes. Next remove from flame and CAREFULLY add 1 tbsp of brandy. If you're careful, light it on fire and let it flame off. This will leave a lovely, sweet glaze.
4. Heirloom tomatoes: what more can I say? I planted a few "brandywine" variety last season, and this year, one just sprang up by itself (self-seeded), resulting in many delicious tomatoes. I like to eat them with a sprinkle of salt & pepper, a few drops of balsamic vinegar and maybe a spritz of olive oil (from a "Misto" pump sprayer).
Speaking of which, I think I'll go downstairs now, have an onion bagel with cream cheese and tomato. Mmm...