I hate to say it, but I grew up being a red meat snob, having grown up in a restaurant family. The only cuts of meat I knew were New York Strip Sirloin, Filet Mignon and Flank Steak. As I got older, I learned about Delmonico/ Rib Eye/Prime Rib. I was never introduced to Top Round, London Broil or Chuck Beef in my family’s business or in our home. Meals of Pot Roast and Brisket were only eaten at the Delicatessen or Diner. Only in the last 20 years with the popularity of Mexican food and Skirt Steak have I realized there was a whole other world flavorful beef out there to be had. Finding out cheaper cuts and learning to roast them low and slow have been an area of cooking that greatly interests me. Using cheaper cuts and finding out how to make them enjoyable is a mission I want to conquer and pass the knowledge onto my son , extended family members and to the home cooks here on Chowhound…as such, I’ve always wondered how a home Jaccard Meat Tenderizer, or similar gadget, worked on inexpensive cuts of meats. This past year, I purchased a similar type of meat tenderizer I thought would aid me in punching, or needling holes in the skin of pork/pig, which aids in self basting and crisping the skin…..the NorPro Professional Meat Tenderizer, which is circular in pattern with 24 prongs that resemble nails.
This week, my local Supermarket had Top Sirloin Steaks on sale for $3.99/lb, normally 6.99-9.99/lb. Top Sirloin is not a cut of beef I would normally purchase due to it’s price, even if on sale…but this time I made an exception, as I was curious if the punching the meat with holes would make a difference in the tenderness. Top Sirloin Steak is a cut that is normally sold in Chain restaurants like Applebee’s, Friday’s and Outback…..I have tried the cut in the past, but never found it to very good for steaks, only good as a * Poor Man’s Roast Beef *. Given the inexpensive cost on sale, I figured it was time for another oven experiment and trying out the NorPro Professional Meat Tenderizer as well. I picked out a steak that was at least one inch thick and minimal marbling.
• Removed from packaging
• Punched the entire surface area of the steak three times on both sides of the steak
• Seasoned with Kosher Salt and Worcestershire Sauce
• Sat out for two hours until it reached a temperature of 57*
• Placed the steak on a wire rack into a pre-heated 275* oven, top rack.
• A digital probe thermometer was inserted and set for 95*
• It took 13 minutes to reach 95*
• Removed and placed onto a pre-heated Cast Iron Grill Pan to sear for 1minute and 15 seconds on each side, 2.5 minutes total time searing..
• Removed from grill pan and placed back onto the wire rack and covered for 8 minutes.
• Perfect Medium-Rare
This process produced a very tender steak to a perfect cooked temperature. The only negative was there was little Char and the steak was warm, not hot. This is a method I will use again, but for the next experiment, I plan to remove at 90*, use a hotter pan and sear for an additional minute, or 3.5-4.0 minutes before resting.
Enjoy the pictures.