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 Argentinian Malbec, or a Carmenere from Chile. Enjoy!