Coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak drizzled with bourbon mushroom cream sauce is an excellent summer grilling recipe. Coffee perfectly complements the steak and the mushroom cream sauce elevates it to restaurant-worthy.
Rubbing a steak with coffee enhances the flavor of the beef and adds a subtle smoky, bitter flavor to the steak which helps balance the richness of the steak. The coffee also provides a nice crust on the steak and sears nicely! Since coffee, has a high acidity content it also acts as a meat tenderizer. Drizzling the coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak with a bourbon cream sauce complements and enhances the flavor of the coffee-rubbed steak.
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What is a Tri-Tip Steak or Roast?
Tri-tip steak, also known as a tri-tip roast, is a triangular-shaped cut that is known for its tenderness, flavor, and versatility. Tri-tip steaks are typically between 1-1.5 pounds and are well marbled with fat, which contributes to their juiciness and rich flavor.
Tri-tip steak is popular in western American cuisine, particularly in California where it originated. Grilled or roasted, tri-tips are sliced against the grain for a tender, juicy steak.
Tri-tip steaks are a popular choice for BBQs, family dinners, and special occasion meals. They are also an excellent choice if you have some family members that like their meat well done and some who prefer medium rare as the shape of the cut lends itself to a variety of preferences.
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Ingredients for Coffee-Rubbed Tri-Tip Steak
There are several ingredients for the coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak with mushroom bourbon cream sauce and most are pantry-friendly.
Coffee – Finely ground coffee is best in this recipe. You can use dark-roasted, espresso roasted, or your favorite coffee blend.
Kosher Salt – I highly recommend using Kosher salt for this rub.
Black Pepper – This is used in both the rub and the sauce.
Fresh Thyme – Thyme is an excellent seasoning for beef and really compliments the coffee rub. Be sure to use fresh thyme for both the rub and the sauce.
Olive Oil – Just a little to brush the tri-tip steak with to help make the rub stick better.
Tri-Tip Steak or Roast – Use a 2-3 pound well-marbled tri-tip steak.
Butter – Salted butter for the sauce.
Onion – I use yellow onion for this recipe although white would work as well.
Mushrooms – White button mushrooms or baby Bella’s are great options and either will work perfectly. While we love mushrooms around here, if you are part of the anti-fungi league please feel free to omit them – the sauce will still be delicious!
Bourbon – Always use a bourbon that you would be willing to drink for cooking!
Beef Broth – I usually grab a can but if you have homemade beef broth or bone broth on hand then by all means use that!
Heavy Cream – For the bourbon cream sauce!
Garlic – We’ll add a clove of minced garlic to the sauce for added depth of flavor.
Cornstarch – If you like a slightly thicker bourbon cream sauce, you can add a little cornstarch to cold water and stir it into your sauce towards the end to thicken it. This is entirely optional and based on your preference.
How to Prepare
There are several steps to this recipe but it is overall fairly easy.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. You can use any grill to make a coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak, however, I like to add a little additional smoky flavor by throwing some mesquite or hickory wood chunks into my Kamado Joe. If you follow me at all, you know I love grilling on my Kamado Joe! If using a charcoal grill or gas grill, you can use a smoker box, like this one, to add an additional smokey flavor.
While the grill pre-heats, make the coffee rub by combining the coffee, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme in a small bowl.
Brush your tri-tip steak with olive oil and then coat thoroughly with the coffee rub. Set aside.
Grill the coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak over medium-high heat until the desired doneness. For a 1½- to 2-pound tri-tip roast: Grill for 35 to 40 minutes for medium rare (135°F) and 40 to 45 minutes for medium (150°F).
Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring to prevent them from browning, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully add the bourbon. I say carefully because it could flame up if caught by the heat – mine never has sadly!
Return the skillet to medium heat and add the beef stock and cream. Simmer until slightly thickened and reduced. If you like a thicker sauce, create a cornstarch slurry by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch to a small glass of cold water and adding it to the simmering bourbon cream sauce and stir. Stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
When the coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak is done, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Slice your coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak across the grain.
Serve drizzled with the bourbon mushroom cream sauce and garnish with fresh thyme leaves, if desired. Serve with roasted or grilled potatoes and grilled asparagus or a garden salad.
- 1 Tbls finely ground coffee
- 1 Tbls Kosher Salt
- 1 Tbls Black Pepper
- 1 Tbls fresh Thyme, chopped
- Olive Oil
- 3 lb Tri-Tip Roast
Bourbon Mushroom Cream Sauce
- 1 Tbls butter
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 cup beef broth
- 6 tbls heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1 tbls cornstarch, optional
- In a small bowl combine the ground coffee, kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped thyme.
- Brush the tri-tip steak with olive oil and cover thoroughly with the coffee rub. Place the tri-tip in the fridge.
- Heat the grill to medium-high temperature. Grill the tri-tip to desired doneness.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the butter over medium-high heat in a skillet.
- Add the onion and the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the bourbon (careful it might flame up).
- Return to the heat and reduce to medium heat and add the beef stock and cream.
- Simmer until the sauce reduces slightly, if desired you can add a tablespoon of cornstarch to a small glass of water and stir into the simmering sauce to thicken. Then add the fresh thyme.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Slice the tri-tip across the grain and serve with the sauce drizzled over. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.
- Mushrooms are entirely optional in this recipe.
- Thickening the sauce with cornstarch is also entirely optional depending on how thick you prefer your steak sauce.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 46g
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Why use coffee in a steak rub?
Rubbing a steak with coffee enhances the flavor of the beef and adds a subtle smoky, bitter flavor to the steak which helps balance the richness of the steak. The coffee also provides a nice crust on the steak and sears nicely! Since coffee, has a high acidity content it also acts as a meat tenderizer.
Can I use another cut of meat for this recipe?
Yes, you can use this recipe for any steak cut you prefer. We like tri-tip, however, it is also delicious on ribeye steaks or flank steaks.
How do I store leftover steak and bourbon mushroom cream sauce?
Store leftover coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak and bourbon mushroom cream sauce, if there are any, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. As always, please refer to the USDA guidelines for storing leftovers.
How to grill potatoes?
We prefer to grill our potatoes to give them a slightly charred smokey flavor. To grill potatoes, wash your potatoes and slice them in half. Toss them with olive oil and seasonings of your choice such as salt, pepper, and garlic powder or onion powder. Grill for about 30 minutes until fork tender. Serve with butter, sour cream, and your favorite baked potato toppings.