Sirloin steak is the steak cut, usually of beef, from the rear of the animal. It may be top sirloin, which is very tender and sought after, or bottom sirloin which is a tougher cut. The word sirloin gets its name from the French word sur la longe which means above the loin. The cut is considered to be a flavorful meat cut at an affordable price. When cooked by the right method, this results in juicy, fleshy and tender meat. The cooking time varies with the degree of doneness of the meat that is preferred, which may be anywhere between a rare stage, a medium stage to a well-done stage.
Methods of Cooking Sirloin Steak
- Grilling- This is a common method, and a popular example is the Brazilian Picancha or top sirloin which is grilled over open flame. It is typically served in rodizo styled restaurants, where a large piece of roasted meat is served to a group of people, sliced thick or thin as per choice, each person having the choice of picking a piece with a desired degree of cooking. They are also often cut into slices first and then roasted, so that excess fat drips off and the remaining turns deliciously crispy.
- Broiling: This is a form of grilling in which the heat source for grilling comes from above the meat, which is held in a broiler pan.
- Sauteeing: This involves cooking the meat pieces in fat over relatively high flame.
- Pan Frying: This method involves frying the meat in minimal amount of fat in a heated pan, browning it on both sides with fat or oil as the medium for heat transfer.
- Baking: Oven baking of fresh steak rubbed with spices is also a method adopted by many popular recipes.
Besides this, the following are common practices adhered to while cooking sirloin steak-
- Boneless sirloin steak is best cooked till medium doneness.
- Thin steaks tend to dry up while cooking, so they should have at least and inch of thickness.
- The meat is removed from heat just before it is done, as the meat continues to cook for a while after removing from heat as well.
Sirloin Steak Marinades
The meat cut is often seasoned before cooking. It may be rubbed with dry herbs and spices like parsley and garlic. Various types of marinades may be used to enhance flavor and tenderness of the meat. Use of salt is avoided in the marinades as it may cause the meat to get dry by extracting the moisture.
A barbeque sauce such as one made with vinegar, ketchup and spices may be used for marinating the meat prior to cooking. Sweet and sour flavored sauces may be made by inclusion of ingredients like pineapple, brown sugar and honey. Cranberry juice, black pepper, wine and olive oil are other ingredients that are often used for preparing steak marinades. Honey, vinegar, soy sauce and ginger are ingredients often used for Asian marinades. American versions often make use of oregano, parsley, onion powder and lemon juice. Black pepper and chili powder is used to spice up the marinades in different cuisines.
Serving Sirloin Steak
Sirloin steak can be served as a part of different types of meals, with foods like rice, noodles or veggies. Stirloin steak salads and casserole dishes are also popular in different parts of the world. Accompaniments like chips, grilled potatoes or grilled tomatoes, and condiments like mustard are common. The grilled steak is served in a steak sauce, which may vary from meal to meal. Asian meals often go for a soy sauce, while a commercial tomato based steak sauce may be the best choice when serving it with potatoes, salads and vegetables. Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce or ketchup is also commonly used for enhancing the flavor of sirloin steak.
Buying and Storing Tips
Bright red color of the steak is preferred while choosing sirloin steaks. Frozen cuts should be first thawed before cooking. When buying, on should ensure a smooth tear-free packaging, which is a vacuum packed with an intact seal. It should be stored in the refrigerator’s coldest corner. Refrigerated sirloin steak keeps well for 3-4 days, while frozen one will keep well for a maximum of 2 weeks.
A single 1oz serving of sirloins steak contains 38 calories, 6.6g protein and 1.3g fat. Top sirloin is a good source of vitamins B6, B12, E and K, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate and pantothenic acid. It is also rich in minerals like zinc, phosphorus and selenium.
- It is said that King Henry VIII of England was so fond of sirloin steak that he would call it ‘Sir Loin’.
- Chateaubriand is a term used by American for top sirloin steak, while the French use this name for a tenderloin’s premium cut.