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stuff about steak

char buddy
char buddy Posts: 562
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I saw this in the paper Wednesday. [p][p]

[p][p] Buying Sirloin? Grill the Butcher[p] By JOHN WILLOUGHBY and CHRIS SCHLESINGER[p] THICK, juicy sirloin steak is
an American culinary classic,
right up there with cheeseburgers and apple pie. [p] Pound per pound, sirloin far outsells all other steaks bought by home cooks, who prize its relatively tender texture
and low price. [p] Yet sirloin may well be the most misunderstood steak of all, as not all steaks that bear the name are alike. [p] One may be tender and juicy, and another quite tough, even a bit gnarly.So it pays to understand the nature of the beast -- or at least the part of the beast where these steaks originate. [p] But first, let's eliminate one source of misunderstanding. When you order a sirloin steak in a restaurant, what you are most likely to be served is not technically a sirloin at all. Instead, it is a steak cut from the top loin muscle, which is located in the short loin of the steer, just behind the ribs. This popular little steak, also called New York strip or just plain strip steak (among other things), is very tender and very pricey. In a supermarket, you may find this cut labeled as strip sirloin and it will cost about 40 percent more than real sirloin. [p] Real sirloin steak is cut from the hip of the steer. In culinary terms, it is a kind of bridge between the luxuriously tender short loin and the rather tough rump area, which is most often cut into roasts. Because the sirloin section contains the large hipbone, cutting it into portions can be problematic. This leads to a lot of variation -- and quite a bit of confusion at the meat counter. [p] The starting point for straightening out the sirloin situation is knowing that these steaks come in two basic categories, depending on how the butcher decides to approach the subject. [p] In the past, butchers commonly cut the sirloin against the grain through the bone, and some still do. This creates four different steaks, named according to the part of the hipbone they
contain. Working from the front to the back of the animal, they are known as pin bone, flat bone, round bone and wedge bone. [p] Although the pin bone steak is tender, since it is closest to the ultratender short loin, it also has a very high proportion of bone to meat, as does the flat bone. So the best choice among these four bone-in sirloins is the round bone. It is relatively tender, has excellent flavor and a good proportion of meat to bone. It can also be quite large, running three pounds or more when cut an inch thick, offering a primal, Flintstone-style steak experience. [p] Today, though, the most widespread method of cutting the sirloin is with the grain, producing boneless steaks. These are labeled according to the particular muscle they come from. [p] The best options come from the top sirloin muscle. These may be called top sirloin or top butt steaks, hip sirloin steaks, bifteck sirloin steaks or center-cut sirloin steaks. Although they can be a bit chewy, all are tender enough to treat as you would steaks from the short loin: grill or broil them and serve them in all their juicy glory. [p] Steaks from the bottom sirloin, usually called bottom sirloin butt or ball tip steaks, areconsiderably tougher. [p] The best approach with these tougher steaks is to treat them like London broil: grill them fast over high heat and cut them very thin against the grain. [p] There is also a trendy little steak known as the tri-tip. This boneless steak, fashioned from a small triangular muscle at the bottom end of the bottom sirloin and the front of the rump, is
also known as the triangle or culotte steak. It has become the darling of in-the-know carnivores, but in our experience it is somewhat overrated, not really a more satisfying eating experience than a top sirloin. [p] Tri-tips can be hard to find, but if you happen across some, by all means buy them. In New York, they are carried by specialty shops like Lobel's, 1096 Madison Avenue (82nd Street), and O. Ottomanelli & Sons, 285 Bleecker Street (Seventh Avenue South). [p] Whichever sirloin you choose, you will get the best flavor by grilling it over a hot fire so it gets a good char on the outside. For the large bone-in steaks, it's a good idea to use a
two-level fire so the steak can sear over high heat and then finish cooking more slowly. Then get out the steak knives and dig into the real thing. [p] GRILLED GIANT SIRLOIN STEAK WITH ROASTED FIGS AND
SHERRY-PARSLEY SAUCE [p] Time: 30 minutes [p] 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for figs
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1/2 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 2 1/2- to 3-pound round-bone sirloin steak, about 1 1/2 inches thick
1/4 cup cracked coriander seeds (or 2 tablespoons ground coriander)
8 fresh figs, halved. [p] 1. Build a two-level fire in your grill. Put about 3/4 of the coals on one side to make a hot
fire (you will be able to hold your hand 5 inches above grill surface for only 1 to 2 seconds).
Put about 1/4 on the other side to make a medium fire (you will be able to hold your hand 5
inches above grill surface for only 3 to 4 seconds). [p] 2. While fire heats, make sauce. In a bowl, combine cup oil, sherry, parsley, onion, garlic,
and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until well combined. [p] 3. Dry steak with paper towels, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and rub all over
with coriander, pressing gently to be sure it adheres. Place steak on grill directly over hottest
part of fire and sear well on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and sear well on second
side, another 4 to 5 minutes. Move to cooler part of fire and continue to cook until done to
your likeness, about 8 to 10 minutes for rare. To check for doneness, cut 1/4-inch into
thickest part of meat and take a peek; it should be slightly less done than you like it. Remove
steak from grill, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. [p] 4. While steak is resting, rub fig halves with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with salt and
pepper to taste, and place on grill around edge of coals. Grill until browned on all sides,
about 3 minutes. [p] 5. Slice steak into 4 portions and place one on each serving plate along with 4 fig halves.
Drizzle lightly with sauce and serve. [p] Yield: 4 servings. [p] BALSAMIC-GLAZED GRILLED SIRLOIN STEAKS WITH
FLASH-SAUTÉED SPINACH Time: 35 minutes [p] 1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper, more to taste
4 8- to 10-ounce top sirloin or tri-tip steaks, about 1 inch thick
Kosher salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach leaves, stems removed, washed well and dried
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. [p] 1. Build a hot fire in your grill; you will be able to hold your hand 5 inches above grill
surface for only 1 to 2 seconds. [p] 2. While coals heat, make glaze: In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar and 2 tablespoons
pepper to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer vigorously, until
mixture is reduced by two-thirds and is syrupy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside and cover
to keep warm. [p] 3. Sprinkle steaks generously with salt and pepper and place on grill. Sear well on one side,
about 4 to 5 minutes; turn and sear well on second side, another 4 to 5 minutes, then
continue to cook until done to your likeness, about 2 more minutes for rare. To check for
doneness: cut 1/4-inch into thickest part of meat and take a peek; it should be slightly less
done than you like it. Remove steaks from grill, brush generously with glaze, cover loosely
with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes while preparing spinach. [p] 4. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over high heat until very hot but not quite smoking. Add
spinach and stir vigorously until it wilts, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring,
another 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice. [p] 5. Place a mound of spinach on each plate, top with a steak and serve. [p] Yield: 4 servings. [p][p]

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