I don't eat a whole lot of beef, as you know if you've been reading a while and paying attention, and even less as a big slab of meat. I recently finished the last piece of the half a tenderloin I bought last November. (It froze quite well and that last piece seemed just as good as the first.) That worked out well so when I saw a good deal on sirloin yesterday I bought one to have it around just in case a good use turned up.
Meanwhile, I'm trying, only two years behind the curve, the Zuni Cafe roast chicken recipe. You probably already know about it, but it's a very simple preparation that relies on simple straightforward seasoning and careful cooking to get the most out of the meat. It's an interesting approach that I haven't often taken, but I find philosophically pleasing. So when I saw a Good Eats recipe for sirloin that is similarly humble in seasoning and complicated in technique, I thought I'd give it a try. It should be good for honing my skills at the very least.
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Prep Time: 2 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 16 min
Level: Easy [says you]
Serves: 4 servings
* 1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, 1 to 1 1/4-inches thick
* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven on broiler setting. Make foil 'snake' out of aluminum foil to use to keep oven door slightly ajar so that broiler won't turn off if it gets too hot.
Brush steak with oil and salt and pepper, to taste.
Place a piece of foil on the bottom rack as a drip pan. Place another rack in the position above this and put the steak directly on this rack.
Cook steak in this position for 5 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 5 minutes.
Move rack with steak to top position in oven, moving rack with foil and drippings just underneath, and cook for 3 minutes. Flip 1 last time and cook for another 3 minutes.
Transfer steak to wire rack and rest for 3 to 5 minutes. The above times are for medium doneness. Adjust cooking times up or down as desired.
My steak was on the thin side and I wanted it medium rare so I cut a minute off of each of the first two steps and thought I did for the latter two, but I misremembered them as 4 minutes each. This is what happens when I have the recipe displayed on the computer screen in the other room when I'm trying to cook in the kitchen.
It looks passable on the outside, I guess, but it's well done--just about ruined. I don't know a lot about cooking steaks and I could use some advice here from those who do. Are those times obviously too long for 3/4" thick steak? Are there warning signs I should have been looking out for? I did notice a good bit of juices accumulating on the foil under the meat, but it was mostly grease so I figured it was OK.
It's edible in a pinch, but not presentable. Still, I can tell that the flavor would have been good if I hadn't left it in the oven too long. And that's without marination, added fat, spice rubs or the like. There's some promise here, but I may ruin a few more steaks before I get the hang of it.
As for the Zuni chicken, I'm going to start the temperature low and the cooking time short before I start checking it. Better safe than another ruined dinner.