Sirloin Steak by Rick Tramonto

April 27, 2010 (CHICAGO) Serves 4

Everyone loves these large steaks, which are cut from the short loin where it meets the rump. Depending on where the steak is cut, it may be called a top sirloin or a bottom sirloin: The top is more desirable. Look for steaks with good marbling as you don't want a tough steak. Sirloin is the cut used for classic steak au poivre, and also does very well when marinated.

4 top sirloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces each and about 1½ inches thick
Balsamic Marinade (below)
one-quarter cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Au Poivre Sauce (below)

In a shallow baking dish, cover the steaks with the marinade. Gently rub it into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Prepare a clean, well-oiled charcoal or gas grill so that the coals or heat element are medium-hot. Or, heat the broiler. Lift the steaks from the marinade and let the marinade drip into the dish. Brush the steaks with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks, turning once, for a total of 12 to 14 minutes for rare meat or 16 to 18 minutes for medium-rare. Let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the sauce over medium heat until very hot. Slice the steaks against the grain, and divide among 4 serving plates or arrange on a platter. Spoon the sauce over the steak and serve.

Balsamic Marinade
Makes about 3 and one-half cups, enough for 4 to 6 (12- to 16-ounce) steaks

three-quarters of a cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
one-quarter cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 and one-half cups olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a glass, ceramic, or other nonreactive mixing bowl, stir together the vinegar, orange zest and juice, garlic, shallot, and thyme. Whisk in the olive oil until it comes together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Au Poivre Sauce
Makes 2 cups

one-half cup brandy
15 whole peppercorns
1 shallot, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cups Veal Jus (below)
trsree-quartes cup heavy cream
1 lemon slice, ¹/8 inch thick
1 and one-half teaspoons sherry vinegar

Combine the brandy, peppercorns, shallot, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced and almost dry. Add the veal jus and cream and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon slice and sherry vinegar. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Veal Jus
Makes about 2 quarts

10 pounds meaty veal bones
About 8 quarts water
1 pound carrots, roughly chopped
1 pound onions, roughly chopped
4 large leeks, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 large sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil 2 large shallow roasting pans. In one of the prepared pans, arrange the bones in a single layer. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the bones and any meat attached to them to a 14-quart stockpot and cover with the water. You can do this in 2 pots if you don't have a large one. Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan into the pot, too. Avoid the fat. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Skim any foam and impurities that rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer for 6 to 8 hours or longer. Adjust the heat up or down to maintain a gentle simmer.

Meanwhile, spread the carrots, onions, and leeks in the second roasting pan and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool the vegetables, cover, and refrigerate until needed. During the last 2 hours of simmering, add the roasted vegetables to the stock, along with the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, and tomato paste, and stir well. Cool the stock in a sink filled with cold water and ice cubes. When cool, skim the fat off the surface. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into 2 smaller pots. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer for about 1 hour, or until reduced to 2 quarts. Let the stock cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, uncovered, until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

—From Steak with Friends: At Home, with Rick Tramonto by Rick Tramonto with Mary Goodbody/Andrews McMeel Publishing

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