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GRILL-LYMPICS: Sirloin Flap with an Eclectic Rub and Garlic/Canola Emulsion

Grilled Steak

By Ziad, member

Posted: July 31st, 2011

I discovered the sirloin flap cut while shopping for steak one day.  I saw a piece of meat that was marbled to the point of having alternating red and white lines.  It was a classic no-brainer and I bought about a 1.5 -lb flap, put a rub on it that evening, and cooked it the next day for dinner. It was an instant hit in terms of both meat and rub flavor.  My wife,who has a sensitive and discerning palate, said “wow!” When I first started putting rubs on similar cuts like petite tender steak (chuck center cut) and sirloin tips the rub consisted of traditional Mediterranean and North African flavors such as allspice, cinnamon, paprika or chili powder, garlic powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, black pepper and salt.  With time, the rub evolved a bit.  I became closely acquainted with New Mexico chilis (whole and ground) and star anise, and to add a level of sweetness and caramelization, I decided to introduce some light brown sugar to the mix.  Moreover, after watching a few episodes of Bal Arneson's show, I learned about the virtues of toasting and grinding my own spices such as cumin and coriander seeds, which intenifies the flavors of the spices.  The piece de resistance was an "aha" moment that came to me later: a mashed garlic and canola oil emulsion that I would spread on the steak after rubbing in the spice mix.  Sirloin flap is best cooked to a medium rare doneness, but rare would work as well. Red wine to have with this steak include lower-alcohol California Zindandels, a smooth Vacqueyras from the southern Rhone Valley, an Arngentinian Malbec, or a Carmenere from Chile. Enjoy!

more about:

1.5 tsp. ground cumin from freshly ground toasted cumin seeds
2 tsp. ground coriander from freshly ground toasted coriander seeds
2 tsp. New Mexico chili powder (use regular chili powder if you can't find New Mexico chili powder)
1.5 tsp. freshly ground allspice
1.5 tsp. freshly ground star anise
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. light brown sugar
1.5 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. + ½ tsp. kosher salt
1 large or 2 medium garlic
2 tbsp. canola oil
1.5 lb. flap sirloin (choose a marbled piece)

Mix the first eight ingredients plus 2 tsp. of salt

In a mortar, coarsely chop the garlic then mash it with the remaining ½ tsp. of salt. Once the garlic is mashed, slowly add the oil while whisking with a small fork or small whisk to create an emulsion-add just enough oil to create a wet mash that can be spread.

Sirloin flap can have some silver skin on, so make sure you check for silver skin. If you find any, remove it. Place the steak on a small pan or platter. Sprinkle enough rub on one side of the steak to cover it then work it in slowly with your fingers in a rubbing motion. Do the same to the other side of the steak. Place half the garlic emulsion on one side of the steak and gently spread it either with your fingers or with knife. Repeat the same with the other half of the garlic emulsion on the other side of the steak.

Cover the steak and let sit in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours.

Remove the steak from the fridge half an hour before grilling to let it reach room temperature. In the meantime heat your gas or charcoal grill to 550 deg F. Once the steak is at room temperature (no longer cold to the touch) place it on the grill and close the grill cover. Let it cook for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes flip it and cook the other side for 3 more minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thick end of the steak reads 125-128 deg. F.

Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes. This is a tender cut, so there is no need to slice it thin. Slice it no thinner than 1.25-inch thick. The steak doneness will be medium at thinnest end to rare at the thickest end.


Comments (2)

Ziad writes: Thanks, JP! I like your recipe as well, thanks for posting it. I have bought tri-tips here in the past as well. Whole Foods, where I bought the meat also offers tri-tips, which are wonderful indeed. I believe a tri-tip is a bit thicker cut of meat than a sirloin flap. The piece that I cooked was a tad short of 1.25 inch on one side tapering off to about 1/2 inch at the other end. Both are great cuts though.

Good luck!
Posted: 10:51 am on August 1st

Judy_Purcell writes: Sounds good, will have to try this sometime. Your sirloin flap is called Tri-tip around here, it is our family's favorite. Thanks for the recipe :) Posted: 8:51 am on August 1st

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