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Sirloin is a flavorful cut of beef that can be prepared in several different ways. A smaller cut of top sirloin is often labeled as a petite sirloin steak. Consumers can ask their butcher to cut petite sirloins for them or purchase larger cuts and prepare them in their own kitchen. Petite sirloins will cook quickly, and many chefs favor using direct cooking methods such as sauteing, grilling or broiling. In general, sirloin retains more flavor and tenderness when cooked to no more than medium doneness.
Sirloin is somewhat unique among the cuts used for steaks in that it is fairly economical and can be purchased in larger sizes. Budget-conscious consumers may wish to buy these larger cuts and freeze leftover portions to serve at another meal. By cutting up the portions in his own kitchen, a cook can trim unwanted fat and prepare steaks that are of an even size and thickness. Consumers with less time may wish to look for prepackaged petite sirloin steak or ask their butcher to cut some top sirloin into steaks for them.
Some basic petite sirloin steak recipes call for the addition of salt and pepper before cooking. More complex recipes may add herbs and spices or call for the steaks to be marinated for several hours. While the meaty flavor of the steaks stands out better with light seasonings, a more complicated recipe can liven up a menu or provide a special treat for guests. In general, cuts of sirloin stand up well to marinades, and a cook can choose from a variety of mixtures based on soy sauce, vinegar or red wine.
Once petite sirloin steak has been seasoned, it can be cooked using one of several different methods. In general, grilling will add the most flavor to the steak, but it requires heating the grill and working outside. Broiling the steaks can deliver similar flavor and can often accommodate the same recipes as grilled sirloin. The steaks also may be pan-seared or cooked on a grill pan on top of the stove. Sirloin usually has better flavor and texture when cooked to rare or medium-rare doneness, so cooks may wish to consider a different cut of meat when dealing with diners who enjoy their beef well-done.
The size of a petite sirloin steak generally makes a good serving, and it generally doesn't need any more preparation once it is done cooking. Some chefs may prefer to serve sirloin along with a sauce to accent the flavor. Providing a homemade or bottled steak sauce also can help to salvage steaks that may have gotten slightly overdone.
The most important tip, I think, is to never cook a decent steak until it's well done. It absolutely ruins the flavor. Some of the better steakhouses, in fact, simply won't cook meat until it's well done and even frown on customers who order medium well steaks.
And, for heaven's sake, don't dump ketchup on the thing. Yuck.
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