No matter how it's prepared, the boldly flavored tri-tip stands up in zesty dishes—as champion chili makers have known for a long time. J. R. Knudson, the California-based, 91-year-old winner of the International Chili Society's World's Championship Chili Cookoff in 2006, used beef tri-tip in his winning chili recipe(visit www.chilicookoff.com). "It has streaks of fat," says Knudson, "and is always consistent." Knudson's 86-year-old wife, Margo, who won the same title back in 1987, also swears by the tri-tip. "It holds up better than chuck," she says. "You can depend on it." Now, doesn't a cut that reliable deserve a bit more love?