Several years ago, an issue of Trader Joe's "Fearless Flyer" published the secret recipe for Dogger's Tri-Tip Marinade. Dogger was apparently a surfer from Santa Barbara who would barbecue some fantastic tri-tip at the beach using a cheap little hibachi. The recipe has found frequent use on our grill at home, so it was an easy choice for a campout dinner in Yosemite.
All you need is a cup of soy sauce, a bottle of lager (we usually use a Mexican beer like Pacifico), and a handful of whole garlic cloves. Put it in a ziplock bag along with a hunk of beef tri-tip and let it chill - in our case we left it on ice in the cooler while we went hiking for the day.
Back at camp, tired and hungry, the dish was easy to finish. We fired up some coals in our chimney:
The tri-tip just needed a quick pat with some paper towels and it was ready to go.
Tri-tip is really an amazing cut of meat. It looks like a big roast that'll take forever, but in reality, it only takes about 25 minutes on the fire. The marinade helps give it a nice, caramelized crust.
Normally we'd cook this more rare, but I admit I'm a little out of practice with fire pit cooking. Nonetheless, it was still tender and juicy - with a flavor slightly sweet from the malt in the beer and perfectly seasoned by the soy.
Wrapped in a warm tortilla with some fresh, chunky salsa, it made for a mighty successful - and easy - campfire cookout.
Here is the original story and recipe from the Fearless Flyer: