Beautiful beef flavor in a transitional neighborhood between the short loin and the round. Not as tender as the cuts off the short loin, but doesn’t really require braising like most of the cuts from the round do. Some connective tissue, depending on which cut you’re looking at.
And no, it wasn’t knighted by Henry XIII. Forget you heard that. The name comes from the French sur longe, or ‘above the loin.’
Cuts off the top sirloin come from further forward on the animal, nearer the short loin. These can be treated more like short loin cuts, with dry, higher heat.
In comparison, cuts off the bottom sirloin, like the ball tip, come from further back, nearer the round. They’ll have a bit more in common with cuts from the round than top sirloin cuts do – that is, they’re less tender, without much fat.
Bottom sirloin cuts are pretty versatile, but do well marinated, skewered and grilled over high heat.
The star of the bottom sirloin is the tri-tip. It’s fairly tender but extremely flavorful, and the centerpiece of Santa Maria-style barbecue, which originated in the Central California coast. Marinate it, grill it medium rare, let it rest for ten minutes and then slice it across the grain.
Now that we've tackled some primals -- braising is next.