Argentineans eat more beef per capita than any other country’s citizens, and when they cook it outdoors, they always do it over wood to infuse the meat with deep, smoky flavor. Here, after a quick marinade, we grill the thick tri-tip cut over direct heat so that it forms a nice brown crust on the outside while the inside stays pink and juicy.
What to buy: For authentic flavor, look for grass-fed beef, the traditional way of raising cattle in Argentina.
Special equipment: Pieces of wood char known as lump charcoal can be found at most grocery and hardware stores.
A chimney starter makes lighting charcoal a snap. Place a wad of newspaper in the bottom, fill the top with charcoal, and light the newspaper. Using a chimney starter means that there is no need for lighter fluid, which would ruin the flavor that comes from the wood. Charcoal chimney starters can be found at hardware stores or online.
You’ll need an instant-read thermometer to know when the tri-tip has reached a perfect medium rare.
Game plan: You’ll need to make our Argentine Chimichurri Sauce before you begin.
This recipe was featured as part of our Argentine Grilling menu.
Beverage pairing: Monteviejo Festivo Malbec, Argentina. The combination of grilled tri-tip and chimichurri has a lot going on—smoky beef and peppery, daring sauce. This wine, with strong blackberry fruits and spicy notes, stands up nicely to the intense flavors of the dish.