It wasn't long ago that our options for cuts of steak were limited. If you wanted a rib-eye or New York strip, no problem. If you were looking for a skirt steak or a flat iron, that might have taken a little more effort. And if you wanted a tri-tip? You were likely met with a blank stare and a shrug from whomever was helping you at the meat counter.

Lucky for us, that's all changed in the past several years. Sort of. While you can't swing a leg of lamb in a butcher shop on the West Coast without hitting a tri-tip any time of year, in Minnesota, the cut seems to show up more often in the summer, when we can toss it on the grill.

Tender, juicy and beefy, tri-tip roasts are less expensive than many other cuts that don't hold a candle to it in taste and texture. So when it starts to show up in my local grocery store, I snatch it up.

This week, it's going into a family favorite at my house, Grilled Tri-Tip Steak Sandwiches with Mushrooms, Onions and Peppers.

The beef is covered in Montreal steak seasoning before being tossed onto the grill. Montreal seasoning ingredients vary, but generally it includes garlic and onion powders, coriander, black pepper, red pepper flakes, dill seed and salt. The combination of spices complements the beef without overpowering it.

Onions and mushrooms are also on the grill just long enough to char in spots and develop the signature smoky flavor you look for in good grilled veggies.

A simple sauce of mayo and horseradish pulls the steak and vegetables — all tucked into a toasted ciabatta — together.

If a sandwich feels like a little too much, go ahead and ditch the ciabatta, bump up the arugula and turn it into a salad.

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak Sandwiches with Mushrooms, Onions and Peppers

Serves 4.

Note: The tri-tip is a tender, triangular cut of beef. They're usually easy to find, but you can substitute with sirloin, if necessary. This recipe makes four generously filled sandwiches. If your rolls are on the smaller side, it could easily be stretched to six. Montreal steak seasoning is a spice blend found in the spice aisle of grocery stores. For the best flavor, the seasoned steak will need to sit at least an hour before cooking. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lb.) tri-tip steak

• 2 tbsp. Montreal steak seasoning (see Note)

• 1/2 c. mayonnaise

• 2 tbsp. prepared horseradish

• 1 tsp. lemon juice

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 2 medium onions, trimmed and cut into 1/2-in. slices

• 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, cleaned

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half crosswise

• 1/3 c. roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips

2 c. arugula


Season the tri-tip all over with the steak seasoning and place on a plate. Let sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, horseradish, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect cooking over medium-high heat. (For gas grills, light the burners on only one side of the grill. For charcoal grills, place the coals on one side of the grill.)

Place tri-tip on the cooler side of grill. Cover and cook, with vents open, turning every 5 minutes, until steaks register 120 degrees for medium-rare or 130 degrees for medium on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 to 20 minutes total.

Move the steaks to the hot side of grill and cook, turning frequently, until a dark crust has developed and thermometer registers 125 degrees for medium-rare or 135 degrees for medium, about 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut very thinly across the grain.

While the steak is resting, brush the onion slices and mushrooms with the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place on the hot side of the grill, cover and grill without disturbing for 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and continue to grill for another 3 to 5 minutes until vegetables are softened and charred in spots. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut the onion rings in half and slice the mushrooms.

Place rolls on the grill, cut side down, directly over the coals. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly toasted. Spread the cut sides of the rolls with the horseradish mayo. Arrange the steak, grilled vegetables, roasted peppers and arugula on the toasted rolls and serve.

Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at Follow her on Instagram ­at @meredithdeeds.