If beef is what's for dinner, you can't go too far wrong with a juicy, economical top sirloin steak or roast. Top sirloin is a lean cut of beef from the sirloin, or lower back portion, of a cow. The top sirloin differs from the other parts of the sirloin in that the bone and some of the bottom muscles have been removed. Steaks can be cooked in the oven or on the stove or grill, while roasts should only be cooked in the oven.
The Thrill of the Grill
Nothing says summer like firing up the grill and cooking steaks. To grill a top sirloin steak, preheat the grill to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Salt and pepper the steak and place it on the hot grill. After a few minutes, when juices bubble to the top of the steak, flip it over with tongs and cook until done. The interior temperature of the meat should reach a minimum of 145 F for safety. Allow the meat to rest for three to five minutes before serving.
Braising is a method of cooking that combines a little bit of frying with a little bit of slow cooking. To braise top sirloin steak, heat oil in a heavy pan until hot, about 350 F. Place the seasoned steak in the pan and sear on all sides until just browned. Remove the meat and add vegetables. Cook until slightly caramelized and return the meat to the pan. Reduce the heat to 175 F, add some liquid, such as beef stock or tomato juice, and cook slowly for about four to six hours. After searing, you can also transfer meat to a slow cooker and cook on low heat for the same amount of time. Braising works well if you like meat cooked medium to medium-well.
The Saute Way
Similar to braising, sauteing a top sirloin seals the juices inside by searing the outside then allowing the heat to penetrate until the meat reaches the proper level of doneness. To saute, heat oil in a frying pan until medium-hot. Add a seasoned steak and cook until the juices rise to the surface. Using tongs, flip the meat over and cook on the other side until the interior temperature reaches a minimum of 145 F.
The Roast Boast
To cook a top sirloin roast cut, choose a dry heat method such as roasting. Roasting allows the heat of the oven to permeate the meat evenly, producing a tender, juicy roast with varying degrees of doneness. The interior will tend to be more rare while the ends will be more cooked.
To roast a top sirloin roast, preheat the oven to 500 F. Season the roast and place fat-side up on a wire grill on a roasting pan. Cook for 15 minutes uncovered to allow the heat to seal the exterior of the meat. Reduce the temperature to 275 F. and cook until the roast reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 F, which takes about 30 minutes per pound.
When not working in her family-owned food and bar business, Viola Horne can almost always be found with a cookbook in one hand and a whisk in the other. Horne never tires of entertaining family and friends with both comfort food and unusual delicacies such as garlic cheese smashed potatoes and banana bacon pancakes.