Did you know that according to legend, an English King knighted this cut of beef “Sir Loin” because of it’s tenderness? I’m not quite sure how true that is because other sources credit the French as the originator of the name as it came from a French word meaning ‘above the loin’.
Names for Sirloin Steak: As with other cuts of beef, there are several names used to refer various cuts derived from the sirloin portion of the cow. Your grocer or butcher can give plenty of advice about the various names. Below are a few names that I’ve found:
- Top Sirloin
- Top Butt
- Bottom Sirloin
- Sirloin Tip
- Short Loin
- Tenderloin (filet mignon)
- Top loin: sirloin strip, strip steak, shell steak (or club steak), NY strip, Delmonico
Characteristics: Since this cut of steak is generally tender, it does not require moist heat cooking like a potentially tougher cut like chuck. It’s great for cooking in a pan, grilling or broiling.
How to Cook Sirloin Steak:
Seasoning: Before we talk about cooking the steak, let’s season it first. There is the salt, pepper option or if you feel a little more adventurous, you can create your own rub of dry ingredients and rub it into the steak.
To create a rub, get a zip lock baggie and add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (if you like a spice), a little brown sugar and some paprika. The amount of each ingredient will vary in accordance to your preference. Add, delete or modify ingredients as you see fit. Close the baggie, shake to mix the ingredients, then rub it on both sides of your steak.
Once you’ve rubbed your mixture on your steak, let it sit for a while. I generally wait a couple of hours after seasoning to cook the steak (as much as 24 hours). If you have a vacuum sealer, even better. Vacuum seal the steak and let it sit for about an hour or two prior to cooking. This helps to absorb the flavor.
- How to cook sirloin steak in a pan:First you must make sure your pan is hot before adding the steak. The cook time depends on how thick the steak is and how well you like it. Because we’re talking about sirloin, it is strongly recommended not to overcook. At most, cook it until its medium. The trick is only turning the steak once.There are various rules of thumb to find out if the steak is done. I found that if I stuck my two pronged fork into the steak and it bled profusely, it wasn’t done. If I my fork had much resistance, I had over cooked it and the dog was in for a big treat. Usually if the fork goes through it easily, and I get steak juices that are not profusely red, my steak is done to my liking. Not scientific, but it works.
- How to cook sirloin steak in the oven:Turn the oven on broil and place the steak in a pan (preferably a grill type pan that can catch the juices) and place it on the rack closest to the heat (without burning it). Again, depending on the size and thickness of the steak, cook it for a few minutes on each side (about 4 to 5 minutes). Then place it on a rack further away from the heat and let it cook until it has reached the desired doneness.
- How to cook sirloin steak on a grill:We won’t get into a debate as to whether or not charcoal or gas grilling is better (although for the record I prefer charcoal), but either way, make sure your grill is hot before placing the steak on it.It is good to prepare the grill so that there is a hotter “searing” area and a cooler “cooking” area. One method is to place the steak on the grill and sear each side for about 4 to 5 minutes (depending on the size of the steak), and then move it to a “cooler” side of the grill to cook through more if you prefer. By searing the steak, you’re locking the flavor and juices in.As far as testing for doneness, you can use the rule of thumb, or you can purchase a steak thermometer. If you choose the thermometer option, make sure you purchase an accurate one. No sense in ruining a perfectly good steak because of an inaccurate thermometer.
Note: No matter which way you cook your steak, remember that it continues to cook for a little while when you take it off of the heat, therefore you should set the steak aside for about 5 minutes prior to serving.