I have been working on some recipes for a birthday boy’s special dinner that is coming up, and I am pretty sure I nailed it with this recipe for Piment d’ville Crusted Tri-Tip. This my friends is a great recipe to have on hand for grilling season.
Let’s talk about what Piment d’ville is. Years ago, during a trip to Europe, I was introduced to a Basque seasoning purely by accident. It is called Piment Espelette. I saw it for sale in a market, and I had to have it mainly because I am of Basque heritage. I brought it home, and it became a staple in my kitchen. Back then, I could only replenish it when I was overseas as one could not find it here. Occasionally, I stumble upon it but not often. A few months ago, during my search to restock my pantry, I found a company called Boonville Piment d’ville who is located in Northern California. I sent an email to introduce myself, and since a lovely and delicious interaction has begun.
To say I am in love with this seasoning is an understatement. To be honest, I am digging it even more than the traditional one that I would carry back from my European escapades. Boonville Piment d’ville now sits next to our everyday staples of Maldon salt and black pepper, but more often than not it is used before the latter as a finishing. It is smokey, a little sweet, slightly spicy, and full of flavor. I use it in and on everything from eggs to cocktails.
For this recipe, I placed some Maldon salt along with the pimento in a mortar, gave it a few crushes and crusted the tri-tip with it before grilling. Nothing else; no black pepper, no olive oil, no herbs just ole fashioned spicy love.
The key to grilling an outstanding tri-tip besides the perfect seasoning is all about temperature. You want to start with a scorching grill, then sear the meat on all the sides just until marks form, then cover with the lid and cook until the desired temperature is reached. We like our tri-tip served medium rare, so I grilled it until the internal temperature was 140, then I placed it on a cutting board and covered with foil for 10 minutes. To serve the tri-tip, I thinly sliced it, then topped with some cherry tomatoes that Lenny sautéed with a little olive oil and minced parsley. The acid in the tomatoes cut through the fat in meat, not to mention they really compliment the seasoning with this recipe.
Piment d’ville Crusted Tri-Tip
1 3/4 pound tri-tip
2 tablespoons Maldon salt
1 tablespoon Boonville piment d’ville
1-pint cherry tomatoes, some cut in half, others left whole
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small clove garlic
splash of white wine – optional
a handful of fresh parsley
Place the Maldon salt and the Boonville pimento d’ville into a mortar or small bowl and lightly crush. Using your hands pat the seasoning all over the meat.
Let the meat rest at room temperature for an hour.
Preheat the grill to 500 degrees.
Place the tri-tip on the grill, and sear all sides of the meat. This takes about 3 – 4 minutes per side.
After you have a nice sear on all the sides, keep the meat on the grill and cover with the lid.
Check the temperature, about every 5 minutes, until it reaches 140 (medium rare) or 150 (medium).
Remove the meat from the grill, place on a cutting board and cover with foil.
Place a frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add the cherry tomatoes, stir and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Add the wine and cook another minute.
Stir in the parsley and remove from the stove.
To serve, lay the tri-tip on a serving platter and top with the tomato mixture.