Sunday, May 29, 2016

How to Cook Sirloin Tips on a Stove

One of the cheaper cuts of meat, sirloin tips are by no means second rate on the plate. Marinate first to secure the tenderness, and cook quickly on the stove to lock in the flavors.

Regional Cut

Also known as flap meat, or bavette in French cuisine, sirloin tips are a common dish in New England. Cut from the round, the steak comes as a coarsely grained strip with very little fat. Marinating is essential to tenderize the flesh, but the meat also has its own assertive, beefy flavor.
Because of the absence of fat and the texture, these are not steaks to cook to rare or medium rare. Bring them to at least medium, and cut them into thinner strips against the grain.

Marinate First

The coarse grain on the sirloin strip sucks up flavor, so you can be bold with the marinade. Aim for the conventional steak-marinating combo of oil, acid and seasoning.
  • Other than standard kosher salt and pepper, soy sauce,
    Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and mustard will all round out the beefy
    notes, while balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or red wine vinegar add some
    counter-punching tartness.
  • Pour the marinade into a resealable plastic bag. Add the
    steak, and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 5
    hours, or overnight if time allows.  

Exotic Flourishes

Give an Asian twist, perhaps for a stir-fry, with soy sauce, ginger, chili flakes and brown sugar, or go for some full-on heat with a soy sauce and harissa marinade. Just a couple of teaspoons of the North African chili paste will give a noticeable kick.

Pan Fried

Give sirloin tip its due as a steak by pan-frying it briefly in a skillet over moderate heat.

Step 1

Season the steak first with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Cut it into strips or cubes to increase the surface area, and brown it for 5 to 10 minutes in a little butter. The steak should sizzle the moment it hits the pan.

Step 3

Remove the meat from the pan and let it rest. Meanwhile, prepare a pan sauce of finely chopped onion and garlic, and then deglaze the pan with some red wine and beef stock. Reduce the sauce until it is thick, and pour over the steak.


  • Sirloin tip doesn’t have to be cut first into strips. You can fry it in the same way as a rib-eye or New York strip, allowing 5 to 6 minutes per side. Unlike the other steaks, though, it's usually cut into strips afterward to release some of the toughness in the meat fibers.
Showcase the steak’s rich, meaty flavor by elevating the sauce to a stroganoff, adding mushrooms, onions, mustard, and some vegetable stock and sour cream to finish.
The sauce benefits from a skillet that has first browned the meat, then gathered the juices and flavors from the mushrooms and onions in the 10 or so minutes it takes to saute them, finishing off with the velvety mouthfeel of the cream.

Brief Braise

Sirloin tip makes a hearty casserole or stew, but doesn’t require as long on the stove as thicker, fattier steaks. In fact, too long over the heat and the meat can turn tough.
  • Rub the steaks first with brown sugar, mustard, paprika and
    thyme, or a similarly strong-flavored rub. Pat dry and leave to come up to room temperature.
  • Cut the steaks into strips or cubes and sear them thoroughly
    in a heavy Dutch oven, one that will deliver a consistent heat.
  • Add red wine or dark beer, onions and mushrooms, and simmer
    over a gentle heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • If adding carrots or potatoes, introduce them for the last 10 minutes, so they
    don’t turn mushy.

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