Colita De Cuadril is known in English as tri-tip, sirloin bottom, or tip roast. The exact same thing, not one of those cuts that are similar yet cut differently like vacio and flank steak. You can roast it, grill it, or smoke it. Slice it up for stir-fry. Grind it up for hamburger meat. Cube it for kebabs. The meat sucks up spices and marinades like a sponge. Pound for pound (or kilo for kilo) the cut is not that expensive. Let me say last but not least, I mean just look at the shape, is that not perfect for creating a magnificent stuffed roast? I am proud to say that this is one of my favorite cuts simply because of all this versatility.
Buying & Preparing
When buying, look for tri-tip that has been well trimmed but not overly so. You want a little extra fat around the outside so that there will be some self-basting going on. I find that most places trim the meat well enough that hardly any extra trimming is needed before placing it on the grill. Otherwise, if the meat has a large amount of surrounding fat and/or silverskin ask the butcher to trim it up a bit, or as always, if you have the skills, do it yourself. The tri-tip in the above photo was perfect when bought and all I had to do was trim a little silverskin near the tip on the underside.
For this cut, I prefer to use fine salt instead of coarse. Sprinkle all around and rub it in well. Place fat side up on the grill.
One problem with semi-large boneless chunks of meat, such as tri-tip, is that they tend to ball up a bit while cooking; thus increasing thickness. How much so varies and that really makes it quite hard to give a time table or indicators on when to flip or when the meat may be ready. At least for those who like their meat close to being fully cooked yet still juicy. I find that over a low to medium-low heat, your average 1.5 kilo tri-tip will take about 30 to 45 minutes on each side to reach a medium level of doneness. (I cooked the meat in the photo below for 1 1/2 hours total) Also, with thick cuts you can sometimes flip the meat 90Âº on each side in order to have it more evenly cooked. Not always easy to do, but no problem if there are other meats to lean on. And there should be other meats on that grill. Baste with a light brine during the whole process. If you are not sure of whether or not the meat is ready, I find that the thumb test for doneness works great.
When ready, slice into 2.5 to 4cm slices (1 to 1.5 inches).
Although colita de cuadril truly shines when cooked whole, it also does remarkably well when cut into steaks or butterflied(lengthwise from the wide end to the tip) before grilling. However, like tenderloin, the meat can get quite tough when cooked to well done.