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top sirloin

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have been gifted with a whole (cry vac) top sirloin. It is Safeway's "preferred" Rancher's Select brand. I really have plenty of steaks on hand and would like to roast it whole. Weigh's right at 12 lbs. How do I handle it. Really wish it wasn't boneless.
post #2 of 9
Could break it down into smaller roasts. Otherwise I like to slow smoke(or roast) to rare, store in the fridge overnight then run it through the slicer for french dip sandwiches. Reheat with a quick trip through some stock then use the stock for dipping.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Those are both good ideas. I could eats sandwiches every day. I looked on the RR site and this meat is guaranteed to be tender, special grazing, handling, aging (yeah, yeah) Only thing I cannot ferret out is the grade. Prime? I would venture to guess it is choice...The plastic is difficult to see thru to asses fat distribution. There is a nice area of it on one of the outside areas.
post #4 of 9
USDA grades like Choice and Select have subgrades. Rancher's Reserve is one of the best grades of USDA Select. Your roast is probably rolled somewhere ("rolled" means it has USDA "stamp" marks from the inspector), unless it's been trimmed off. What it comes down to is that a Rancher's Reserve top sirloin is a good cut, from the top end of a mediocre grade.

You can certainly cook the whole thing and store it cold for thin slicing and sandwiches, but top is too good a cut to use all 12 pounds of it that way. After rib, it's probably the best cut for roast beef.

Of the great steak cuts, top is not particularly tender compared to the loin and rib, but it's the most flavorful. In terms of tenderness, it may not be "particularly tender" as the others go, but it's darn tender compared to the rest of the beeve.

It's not a "po' folk" cut, and certainly does not require "low and slow," braising, or any other type of workaround cooking to bring out its best. On the contrary, those techniques are more likely to ruin it than not.

It's the traditionally preferred cut for "California Beef Barbecue," and is easier to deal with than its competitor, tri-tip. California Beef Barbecue means cuts about 2" thick -- half way between a steak and a roast; then cooking it with a mix of direct and indirect heat -- again, halfway between a steak and a roast, on a wood or charcoal fired grill. There is no higer use.

Mary's suggestion of smoking it, goes along the same lines. The one caveat -- which she implied by talking about "rare" -- is not to overcook. Top sirloin is a fairly lean cut, and, with a few exceptions, you don't want to take it past "medium" or it will get dry and tough. So, include that in your plans.

As to butchering, break it up into three or four roasts, sized as whatever qualifies as dinner plus leftovers in your family (1 lb per person allows for waste, big portions for the boys, and leftovers); break one of those roasts up into pieces small enough to make meals of sukiyaki, stroganoff, chicken fried steak, carne asada, or whatever; roast the first in your usual way; and freeze the remainder for later.

As a sort of "rule breaker," it might be worthwhile to mention that I like this cut very much for a particular sort of chili or curry. That is, I grill it as a large piece over high heat to get it black and blue, before dicing it. You can use leftover grilled steak in the same way -- or even leftover roast, but you won't get the same "char."

It also makes very good hamburger; but it's lean and you want to be very careful about overcooking. If rare hamburger is your thing, top sirloin may well be your cut. Top is also good for tartar, if you do that. Have capers and onions, will travel.

Enough bandwidth already. So, I'll wrap it up.

If "roast the first in your usual way," seems iffy, ask and I'll write a recipe for roasting a top sirloin. I should post one anyway. Ditto for "California Beef Barbecue" if your weather is up to it. As to the specifics of the other dishes I mentioned -- don't overcook; and if you need a recipe it can probably happen.

Let me know,
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Blog on. mimi
post #6 of 9
My low and slow is aimed at the sandwich angle mainly. Before I started buying a quarter of grass fed beef(just filled my freezer 2 days ago so I am good for the summer!) I would buy primals and break them down into roasts, steaks, chili meat etc. Yes I was aiming at not overcooking this for the reasons given. A friend insisted on well done and I could have used the steak as a door stop.
post #7 of 9


Yes, cutting it into two is a good idea but even though this piece is too good for braising, it would still work fine. Brown well on all sides and braise in a small amount of flavorful liquid on VERY low heat (just barely simmering) with carrot and celery pieces, onion slices, garlic and spices. Braise covered for at least an hour, replenishing liquid if needed, turning over every 15 minutes.
Should be yummy!

A worm in the cabbage is better than no meat at all.
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 


Used the "trimmings" for a carne guisada and the meat was amazingly tender. Seasoned with my chili powder mix (lots of cumin), a bit of flour, then into a cast iron skillet for a nice browning, then into a dutch oven. Chili powder makes a nasty fond so discarded that. A bottle of beer, let braise, lots of veg, can of rotel and there you have it. Made a trip next door to borrow a dozen freshly made tortillas (heaven). Tomorrow will tackle the roast for my sweetie. Note...could it be I have a rib roast sans bones? Sure looks like it.
post #9 of 9
Top sirloin is roundish in shape while a rib roast is long.
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