From time to time, many supermarkets offer good buys on big boneless
cuts of beef sealed in plastic bags. Often advertised as
“beef-in-a-bag,” these large boneless or subprimal cuts are
trimmed of most excess fat and packaged at meat-processing plants.
Meatmen at the supermarket cut them up and repackage the components to
sell at higher per-pound prices. But because these boneless chunks of
meat are quite easy to handle, consider cutting the meat yourself.
You’ll save about 25 percent over meat-counter costs. You can use
the meat for a large party or package it for your own freezer.
Two of the most popular and manageable of the larger beef cuts are
the top sirloin, shown above, and the top loin or New York strip (boneless loin), shown below. A favorite with John Mullowney when he
trains new chefs at his restaurant, Angell’s Bar & Grill in
Boise, is the redistribution of top sirloin, shown above. From one 10-
to 12-pound top sirloin, you get 12 to 15 steaks (1 to 1-1/2 in. thick,
about 7 to 11 oz. each), plus about 3/4 pound lean beef cubes suitable
for broiling or barbecuing, 3/4 pound of slightly fatty and gristled
meat for stewing, and 1/4 pound scraps to grind (or you can consolidate
these smaller bits to make 1-3/4 pounds of stew meat).
Dan Dorn, owner of Dorn’s Breaker Cafe in Morro Bay,
California, likes to use the New York strip (boneless loin) for
crowdsize barbecues (bottom, page 123). He finds one big piece of meat
easier to tend than individual steaks. The big piece browns better, and
its internal temperature is easier to control. Even though the piece is
large, it cooks over hot coals in 35 to 50 minutes. Slice meat to
serve; one 8- to 50-pound strip amply serves 20 to 25. If you want to
cook for lesser numbers, the boneless loin (16 to 20 in. long) is
especially easy to trim and slice across the grain into 1- to 1-1/2-inch
steaks to freeze. Tackling the bag
Place the bag of meat in the sink and slit bag open to let juices
drain out. To firm the meat so it is easier to cut into even slices,
set the bag of meat in the freezer until it feels a little more rigid,
about 45 minutes. Cut away the bag and then slice up the meat as we
show on page 122.
When the ag is opened and the meat exposed to air, the dark meat
turns brighter red–the color familiar in meat counters. Pan-fried
Steaks with Vermouth Mustard Glaze Melt 1 tablespoon each butter or
margazine and salad oil in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high
heat. Place 3 or 4 boneless top sirloin or New York strip steaks, each
1 to 1-1/2 inches thick, in pan. Cook, uncovered, until meat is browned
on both sides but still pink in center (cut to test), 5 to 6 minutes on
a side for 1-inch steaks, 7 to 8 minutes on a side for 1-1/2-inch
steaks. Lift steaks from pan and keep warm.
Stir into pan drippings 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 3
tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine; stir briskly to blend. Spoon
over steaks and serve. Makes 3 or 4 servings. Barbecued New York Strip
with Garlic Pepper
Mix together 1/3 cup each minced garlic (about 20 large cloves) and
cracked black pepper. Rub mixture over both sides of an 8- to 10-pound
trimmed New York strip (boneless loin). Cover and let stand at least 1
hour or refrigerate as long as overnight. Insert a meat thermometer
into the thickest center portion of the meat.
Place meat on a grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of hot coals;
start with 65 to 70 briquets, 2-inch size. Cook, turning as needed to
brown evenly, until meat thermometer registers 140[deg.] for rare,
150[deg.] for medium, or 160[deg.] for well done (or cut to test); total
time will be 35 to 50 minutes. Lift meat from grill to a cutting board.
Cut across the grain into thick or thin slices, as you prefer. Serves
20 to 25.