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Tri-Tip With Honey, Grand Marnier, Garlic, and Rosemary Rub

Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.


Sweet and Spicy Tri-Tip Recipe

Having not just one but two rosemary bushes is one of my dearest advantages in cooking. I love adding this herb to many of my recipes; it gives such a wonderful, herbal, delicate flavor. And it makes the dishes look so beautiful as well—a rustic yet elegant appearance.

In this barbecued tri-tip recipe, rosemary is a crucial addition that perfectly balances the sweet and yet also sharp flavors. The meat is marinated in a mixture of sweet honey, Grand Marnier orange liqueur, sharp garlic, tangy balsamic vinegar, and spicy cayenne.

Tri-tip is a superbly moist and flavorful cut, but I'm sure this marinade would work well for many different types of meat, as well. Either way, the recipe is easy to make and easy to modify. Just marinate, grill, and then season afterwards with some butter for additional richness.

This recipe is entirely my own.


  • 2 pounds tri-tip
  • 7 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Around 4 hours before cooking, in a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup of honey, 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon cayenne, 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced, and 4 sprigs of rosemary, chopped. It should be smooth and reasonably liquid.
  2. Season the tri-tip with cumin, salt, and pepper. Then apply the liquid marinade to it, carefully coating it, in a reasonably small casserole dish or other vessel so that the tri-tip can be turned over and basted with the marinade occasionally.
  3. Prepare the barbecue to instructions, and then place the tri-tip on it. At this stage one thing to watch out for is that due to the presence of the Grand Marnier in the marinade, the bottom can catch fire and burn easily. I recommend staying behind and watching it, and flipping it over rapidly so that the alcohol burns off without overly charring the meat.
  4. Cook to desired doneness. For medium-rare, cook 15 minutes on the first side and 10 minutes on the second.
  5. Once it is off the grill, lay it down on a heated platter with the final 3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped reasonably finely, and the 2 tablespoons of butter, and carve the meat on the platter. Make sure to keep the juice to pour over the meat and do your best to moisten and coat it with this. Serve immediately, while still warm.

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