Spring has arrived in the Napa Valley and we've begun firing up the grill for dinner. Tri Tip, like flank and hanger steaks which can be used as a substitute, is one of our favorites to use with a rub or marinade and it is both tender and flavorful. I like to cook the meat so it’s medium-rare because the rub becomes a crispy crust that soaks up the juices of the meat when it is sliced and the longer the meat cooks the less juice it will release. - lorinarlock —Lori Lyn Narlock
Test Kitchen Notes
Simple and tasty are two things which rank high on my list for grilled meat. This rub has a spicy kick (thanks to the peppercorns), an earthy touch (thanks to the coffee grounds), and lovely high notes (thanks to the fennel seeds). I had trouble finding tri-tip, so used skirt steak instead and it was absolutely delicious. Turn the grill on and by the time its ready, the meat will be, too. - thehappycook —Victoria Ross
Toast the fennel seeds in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Transfer the fennel seeds to a spice grinder or mortar. Add the coffee, peppercorns, and salt. Grind to a medium-fine mixture. Transfer to a small bowl and add the olive oil, mustard and garlic. Rub over the steak to coat completely. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.
Add the steak to the grill and cook until medium rare, about 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board to rest at least 5 minutes. Cut the steak into thin slices, arrange on a platter, and pour the juices over the steak. Sprinkle with kosher salt.