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The Summer of Sirloin

Sirloin is a sizzling hot steak option this summer as it is packed with flavour and offers great value. “It’s a traditional cut that runs along the back of the animal,” says Bidfood’s Meat Expert Ross Thomson.

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Written by Richard Cornish
15 December 2020
Food writer and author, senior contributor of Bidfood's appetiser. magazine author

“It is packed with flavour but is still quite tender as the muscle does not do a lot of hard work.” He explains sirloin sits on a T bone next to the spine and rib, opposite the cube roll, also known as Scotch fillet. “The name for this cut changes depending on where you go,” says Ross, with a grin. “If you’re in NRL country, it’s called sirloin. But if they play AFL where you are, it’s more than likely going to appear on a menu as porterhouse.”

Ross says there is excellent value to be had in sirloin. While other prime cuts of beef have  risen in price almost 25%, sirloin has not seen the same rises and is under-represented on  menus. He says that sirloin can also offer the customer great dining experiences at different price points. A big, thick-cut 400-gram New York sirloin steak can be the star of a high-end meal and perfect to match with a glass of fine red wine. Cut the steak thinner, around 200 grams, and sirloin makes a delicious but less costly meal, perhaps served with chips and salad. “It is a versatile cut of beef,” he adds.

Ross is a big fan of Bounty Premium 100-day grain fed sirloin. “This is really good beef from New England and the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales,” he says. “It has a lovely rosy red hue, with creamy white marbling. It is as good as you get.” Ross explains that, unlike other steak cuts such as rump, sirloin is a single muscle, not a group of muscles and cooks incredibly evenly. “I am a huge fan of the grill,” says Ross. “A little charring and some lovely grill cross hatching makes this steak look and taste even better,” he says. “But then sirloin is a piece of meat that can also deserve the French treatment of a hot pan, butter, herbs and a splash of wine – then finishing in a hot oven.” He suggests thinner steaks make a great gourmet grilled steak sandwich while a grilled sirloin, sliced finely, makes an excellent filling for a hot baguette or bun. It can also be sliced and used in salads and to top popular rice bowls. He adds that some chefs are too eager to get their steaks out on the table, forgetting to rest them.

He reminds us of the one-minute per 100 grams rule. So, steak weighing 300-500 grams will need to rest for three to five minutes. He says that it is important that any juices that do emerge on the resting plate are returned to the dish. These could be incorporated into the sauce or gravy if you are making one, or simply poured back over the meat.

“And don’t forget the condiments,” adds Ross. “An offer of mustards, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and different types of salt can add an air of theatre around the service of a steak,” he says. “There is an old adage that goes, ‘you serve the steak, but sell the sizzle’.”

Find the recipe for sake beef rice bowl here.