Monday, August 16, 2010
Slow-Roasted Grilled Sirloin (Tips from my Daddy!)
Slow-Roasted Grilled Sirloin Tips By Daddy Ben Romney
1 tri-tip, sirloin, or round roast
For the Rub: garlic, black pepper, and salt. (Or Tone's Canadian Steak Seasoning)
The cut of meat was a tri tip roast. I have also used top sirloin, and round. They will all work ok. the tri-tip has a lot of lovely marble in it--surely adds flavor, but there is that matter of animal fat, and the resultant shape of our hips, bellies, and bottoms...
I do not marinate this meat. I use a simple rub of garlic, black pepper, salt. You can purchase a mix that I like from Tone's that is called "canadian steak seasoning" that contains "salt, dehydrated garlic, black pepper, dehydrated onion, spices, and red pepper." The "spices" are not specific, so there are potential variants on this simple rub. I think that sometimes too much spice can take away from the flavor of the meat, so I prefer the simple salt, pepper, and then either garlic, onion, shallots, or a combination. They can be dehydrated, or fresh. I sprinkle the spices on, rather than rubbing it all over the meat. I sprinkle one side, flip the meat over, sprinkle the other side, then flip it back and forth to pick up all the seasoning.
The real trick to the supple nature of this meat treatment is how it is cooked. This I have learned by observing my colleagues in the Animal Science Department over several years. The simple rule for the temperature of the grill: hold your hand over the surface, count slowly to 4. If you can't make it to 4, it is too hot, and if you count past 4, it is not warm enough. Then make sure that the grill plates are cleaned and oiled--I use canola oil usually for this. In Bolivia, we used to grab a sour orange from the tree, split it in half, then wipe the juice and peel up and down the grates to clean and oil them--plus it adds a nice flavor to the grill. You can do the same with lemon, grapefruit. Lime peel becomes a bit bitter.
Anyway, on the oiled grill, the meat is placed, where it should sizzle for three minutes, then it is turned over, seared for another three minutes, then turned every three minutes after that. Keep track of the direction of the meat so that when turned over, it is also rotated. When we are cooking a large batch, we holler out "fat to the north, fat to the south, east, west, etc. so everyone is on the same rotation. We may have as many as twenty or thirty or so slabs of meat going at a time for a big group barbecue. Remember, three minutes and turn. This goes on until one of the thinner pieces is sacrificed a few slices at a time, and the cooks moan with delight at the burst of juicy flavor. I use a digital cooking thermometer, and want to be close to 150º F. Then it is good to let the meat rest for a few minutes to absorb the juice and complete cooking. Each grill is different, gas versus charcoal is different. I have cooked over a fire using a stick and follow the same principle.
The final, and very important requirement for serving is to slice the meat on an angle perpendicular to the grain of the meat. Cutting across the grain makes the texture more desirable for masticating the meat, prevents any stringiness that might arise, and makes a beautiful presentation on either a serving platter, or on the plate of the consumer.