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Sirloin Strip Steak? Confused on cuts

post #1 of 9
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I buy a side of beef every 8-9 months and find the different cuts quite a mystery to me. Some of you may have read my post on my disasterous encounters with trying to cook some grass fed roasts.

Today I pulled out of the freezer, 2 steaks labeled "Sirloin Strip Steak" is this a particularly tender piece of meat, sutible for grilling, or should I opt for braising/crockpot/ or dutch oven methods?

I saw an interesting recipe posted way back on on the recipe forum for a crockpot recipe using sirloin pieces and want to give it a try, however, I don't want to throw a potentially decent piece of meat into the crock.

Does anyone know the difference between Sirloin Strip and NY Strip?

I wish there was a good internet resource to get "schooled" on beef cuts, but I mostly find charts and nothing that describes flavor or best cooking practices.
post #2 of 9
I know there are some much bigger cow experts out here but I'll do my best.

I would look at your steaks to determine which cut it is. Looking at the name and the circumstances under how you got the meat chances are what you've got there is from the short loin or the sirloin part of the animal. I've generally found that sirloin cuts are larger and have a less defined fat cap. I've also found sirloin cuts to have inferior marbling but that could just be because I find lower grades of sirloin beef placed beside higher grades of short loin beef.

Whether you have a piece of short loin or sirloin I don't suggest you go and braise it and I'd still suggest you grill, pan fry, or broil it. They generally don't have much in the way of connective tissue and I don't find they make particularly flavourful or tender braises.

I've found this page http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/me.../beefchart.pdf to have relatively accurate information about the parts of cow and suggested cooking techniques.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 9
Your butcher seems to be trying to up market a lesser cut from the sirloin as a "strip steak". Strip steak is really the tender large piece of a T-Bone (the even more tender small piece on the other side of the bone is the tenderloin or filet mignon.

Sirloin steaks are less expensive and tougher than a strip steak. Flavor is not usually as good either, though it's not a bad piece of meat.

I find that it lies in a strange middle ground between tender and tough cuts and doesn't excel at being braised like a tough cut or being grilled medium rare like a tender cut.

This is a steak I usually marinate, pan fry to medium-rare, and make a pan sauce/smother in mushrooms to pump up the flavor of the final dish. Carve it thinly to minimize the chew.
post #4 of 9
Beef cut names can be very regional, which is confusing. Not to mention annoying.

A "sirloin strip" is taken from the top loin, not either slrloin primal. It also goes by the names, "hotel steak," "Kansas City strip," "New York strip," "stripper," "top block," and maybe a few other names.

The steak is less well marbled than a rib steak, and not as tender either. Although not one of the more tender steaks, it's definitely tender enough to be served as a steak. That is, by simple grilling without much elaboration. It's quite flavorful. The muscle structure has a pronounced grain. This means that after cooking, you should plate by slicing across the grain, presenting the slices "shingled," rather than serving each guest a whole steak.

In my opinion, the ideal preparation is the so-called "Santa Maria" style, just as you would cook tri-tip or a thick cut of top sirloin. Cut your steaks approximately 2" thick. Marinate, only briefly, in a tablesppon or two of marinade made from equal parts of worcestershire sauce and red wine. Just before grilling, season with rub made from kosher salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and onion powder. Grill both sides over high heat until just seared. Move the steak to a slower part of the fire (and/or cover) and cook until the steak registers 120 deg at the center. Allow to rest at least 7, but no more than 13 minutes before slicing and serving.

If serving as sandwiches, slice at 1/4" or less, and serve on sourdough bread or rolls. If serving as dinner, slice at 3/8" to 1/2" or more (if very tender). Again, always carve across the grain. The traditional accompaniment at a Californa barbecue is a fresh salsa such as pico de gallo.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #5 of 9
Google the Beef Innovations Group
It's funded by beef checkoff dollars
They address all the things you are looking for
Flavor, tenderness, best cooking method etc

Cat Man
post #6 of 9
Cat Man makes a good general point. Although, always on the lookout for good sources, I tried his site and found it completely useless in terms of your question.

Here are a few links I find useful:

The first is Ask the Meatman: Ask The Meatman - Beef, Pork, Deer, Recipes, Cooking Tips. There are other general meat sites as good, but none much better. Practical information, presented clearly for people who don't feel they need to know so much anatomy and biology.

Now here's the anatomy/biology site your parents warned you about: Bovine Myology, is pretty advanced but worth keeping in your bookmarks if you want some technical background: Bovine Myology

Here's their reference to your cut of meat:
Bovine Myology I was able to find it because I already knew which primal the strip was taken from. Not much help to you, or phatch either. Otherwise, you have to guess the primal, go through a long, drop-down menu and hope you find the term.

Finally, for steaks only, here's a very informative pdf from Cooks Illustrated: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/imag...ndersteaks.pdf Considering the way you purchase meat, this may be the most useful link of all.

Hope these help,
BDL
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post #7 of 9
Its not surprising it gets confusing when butchers call meat by all different names to up the price. Loin of beef was cosiderd so good by Henry the eighth of England that he knighted it hense Sir loin, Striploin is the same cut off the bone when you buy it whole. Although many call a steak taken from the bone a sirloin steak it could be called a Entrecote, faux fillet,striploin steak etc etc a double steak is called a Porterhouse and a sirloin and fillet left on the bone is a T bone. To make it just that bit more confusing I must add that a true Entrecote is really more of a rib eye steak and a faux fillet would be considerd more of a loin steak as in loin of Pork,Lamb etc.
I think I better stop before I make this even more confusing.
Steve www.masterchefinfrance.com
post #8 of 9
Chefinfrance and I agree about nearly everything, but not about this.

Sides of meat are divided into "primal" cuts, among them the loin. These are divided into sub-primals, and the loin is divided into several, including the sirloin and the short loin. These sub-primals, in turn, are divided into "cuts," such as the "sirloin strip." It's counter-intuitive to think the sirloin strip comes from any other sub-primal than the sirloin, but there you go. It comes from the short loin primal.

Also, the story about knighting the cut of beef is great, but it's great apocrypha. English owes a lot to French, and "sirloin," comes from the middle-French, surloigne, meaning "above the loin" which has less to do with nobility than how meat was hung back in the day. Which only goes to show that "MF" in the OED and the kitchen mean completely different things.

BDL
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post #9 of 9
I think you will find Engish and French share many words in common because of there links with Latin. I will look into your surloigne theory but sur in French means on something, not above as in oeuf sur le plat [egg on a plate] also why would beef be the only meat to have a sirloin why not veal or pork.
Steve www.masterchefinfrance.com
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