One of the important things to consider when purchasing steak at a grocery store, other than the cut itself, is grade. Prime grade beef accounts for very little of the beef available for purchase by the general public, it accounts for only two per-cent of all beef, and is usually sold to restaurants. Prime being elusive, the next best thing is Choice grade. Choice grade can easily be made tender enough to resemble Prime grade, costs less than Prime grade, and is usually available at the supermarket.
I like to grill petite sirloin for several reasons. First, it starts out fairly tender so there’s less prep work required to make it tender. Second, the petite sirloin is a smaller steak – more individually sized, and easier to flip on the grill. Sirloin is better than round (round is a tougher cut), but not as expensive as cuts from the short loin (porterhouse, T-bone, NY strip). Sirloin is also less tender, but more flavorful than short loin cuts. It’s a happy medium in terms of price and flavor. Keep in mind, there are people who can explain cuts of beef far better than I do.
So, back to how I made this petite sirloin into the tender deliciousness that was the “turf” half of Lane’s surf ‘n turf birthday dinner. Years ago, I started following Jaden Hair’s blog, Steamy Kitchen. She posted “Turning Cheap ‘Choice’ Steak Into Gucci ‘Prime’ Steak,” along with all of the science behind it, back in 2007 and I have never looked back. I get a tender, flavorful steak every time. A common fear with this method is that the steak will be too salty to eat. This is not the case at all. The resulting steak is tender, flavorful, and not at all overly salty. Make sure to rinse it very well and pat it very dry (no visible moisture on the surface) with paper towels before grilling. Use kosher or sea salt, do not be tempted to use table salt. You can add whatever spices you like to the salt, but I find that I like the way this tastes grilled as-is with a sprinkle of black pepper added just before grilling. This method works well with any Choice grade beef cut meant for grilling. The salting method also works for roasts, but that’s another post.
My directions here are for the two steaks I made, but feel free to double (or triple- but invite me over!) for a crowd.
Grilled Petite Sirloin
- 2 (7-8 oz each) petite sirloin steaks, around 1 1/4 inches thick
- 1 teaspoon per side of steak (4 tsp. for 2 steaks)
- spices of your choosing (garlic and rosemary are my preferred seasonings for this)
Set the steaks on a plate.
Coat each side of the steaks with 1 tsp. of salt. You may need more or less, the idea is that the steaks should be covered in salt.
Let the steaks sit out at room temperature for 1 hour per inch of thickness. These were 1 1/4 inches thick, so they sat out for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Water will accumulate on the surface of the steak. Pour off that water and rinse the steaks really well under running water.
Pat the steaks very dry with paper towels. There should be no visible moisture on them.
Heat the grill as hot as it gets.
Place the steaks onto the grill (as a note, whichever side you put down first usually ends up being the “prettier” side. If this is important to you, keep that in mind when deciding which side to put down first).
Leave the steaks for one minute, then lift and rotate 45 degrees, placing the same side down on the grill. For medium steak, grill for 2-4 more minutes on that side, then flip the steaks over and repeat.
Let the steaks sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 2 servings.
Source: salting method from Steamy Kitchen