Steak of the Day: Petite Sirloin

23 Jan

The beef industry has been trying to create more value for sellers by locating parts of the animal that are tender enough to cook like a steak (hot and fast) but which are outside of the traditional areas of the animal from which grilling steaks generally come (the short loin, the rib, the top sirloin). Some of these cuts are really tender and tasty, like chuck-eye steaks. Others are flavorful but maybe not quite as tender, like flat-iron steaks. And yet others are still a mystery, like the petite sirloin steak.

I was at a local grocer’s “warehouse” sale a month or so ago and the store had these steaks on sale for what would be a decent price if they were worth eating, so I took a chance and bought a package of them. The package contained 6 individual steaks and weighed in at just over 6 ounces each on average. Since I’m on a quest to still eat what I want, but to eat more reasonable quantities, I figured they were worth a try.

Tonight was the first cook of one of these little steaks. I am led to believe from http://www.all-about-meat.com that “Petite sirloins are nothing more than a glorified sirloin tip steak off the round.” That tells me that the steaks are a bit chewier than the steak of my childhood, the top sirloin and that they would benefit from a marinade.

Looking through the pantry I had a bottle of Dale’s Seasoning – a soy based meat marinade, heavy on the salt, that seemed to be a good choice for the little steak. I got it in a bath of Dale’s and lit the Mini Big Green Egg.

In a few minutes, the Mini-Egg was cruising at 500 degrees, so the “petite” steak went on the grill. The plan was to do about two minutes on the first side, flip, cook for two minutes on the second side, and repeat, then temp the steak and see where we were. I figured it would take about 8 minutes to get the little steak to my preferred temperature range of 125 to 130 degrees internal.

I cooked the first side for 2 minutes, flipped, and cooked the second side for two minutes, then flipped again, rotating the meat 90 degrees from the first side to get some nice looking grill marks. After about 6 minutes, I got a feelin’ and checked the temperature with my Thermapen. The temp was already north of 130 so off the grill it came.

The result? Chewy, but with nice flavor. The marinade was a little stronger than I had hoped, probably because I let the steak marinade a few minutes longer than normal and the steak was thinner than I normally cook. Not to say that it was bad or unpleasant – to the contrary – it paired nicely with some cheese grits from the night before.

I’ve got five more of these little steaks in the freezer and they will be fun to cook. I will be SURE to get them off the grill between 120 and 125 and I’ll whip up a slightly different marinade, like Mojo seasoning with a touch of Worcestershire sauce. These little steaks also would be quite good sliced thin for fajitas or coarsely chopped for street tacos.

In the lower hierarchy of “value steaks” I put them behind chuck-eye steaks and top sirloin steaks, about on a par with flat-iron steaks from the chuck. Let price be your guide, treat it gently and cook it rare to medium rare and you’ve got yourself a worthwhile meal in my opinion and experience.

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