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Sous Vide: Beef Top Sirloin Center Cut Roast, “Sous-B-Q”

"London Broil" never had it so good! Sous vide processing makes this otherwise "chewy" cut perfect for this popular application.

Ingredients

Top sirloin center cut, between 2 lb/450 g and 5 lb/11 Kg.
Kosher salt, 2 teaspoons per lb/450 g (or Umami rub).
Vegetable oil, as needed.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Lipavi heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Lipavi L15 rack or equivalent.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Paper towels.
Pellet smoker or conventional oven.
Cast iron broiler pan or thick bottomed skilled, approximately 12″/30 cm.

 

 

 

London Broil never had it so good!

Serves 4-8
Level of difficulty 3.0

If you are interested in self-customizing your roast while realizing considerable cash savings, read our article entitled  You don’t have to be a butcher to learn how to disassemble a whole top sirloin primal cut. Otherwise, any top sirloin roast from the butcher’s case is suitable.

Procedure:

Start with a well trimmed top sirloin center cut roast that weighs between 2 lb/1 Kg and 5 lb/11 Kg.

Vacuum seal the roast in heat rated plastic and sous vide process at
130 F/54 C for 8-16 hours, as per your texture preferences and convenience. Over time, the cut will slowly become more tender–but after the roast achieves the target temperature, its appearance of doneness will not change.
After processing, the roast is fully pasteurized.

Tenderness

Time determines the texture/tenderness of sous vide processed proteins, but time cannot be used to MEASURE tenderness. If you are interested in determining the level of tenderness of your sous vide project in real time, familiarize yourself with The pinch and poke method. Enthusiasts should practice using this technique to test all roasts and steaks–eventually, you will be able to quickly and easily determine when any cut of any protein has become sufficiently tenderized–even if you are not using sous vide!

After your processing interval has elapsed, shock the package in iced water until it achieves 70 F/21 C. Refrigerate to 40 F/4 C. Do not put the hot package in the refrigerator–home refrigeration equipment is not designed to or capable of chilling hot foods in a safe period of time. Putting the hot package in the refrigerator also puts other foods in the vicinity at risk.

In this preserved state, the roast can be held at 40 F/4 C for at least two weeks before either proceeding to the next step or utilizing in another application. If you prefer your beef cooked to a greater degree of apparent doneness, the original processing temperature can be adjusted according to the guidelines outlined at Doneness Preferences.

Dip the chilled package in hot water (or a functioning sous vide bath) for five minutes to dissolve the gel. Cut a hole in the end of the package and harvest the juices as explained HERE

Seasoning

Most recipe and method resources have finally admitted that nothing other than sodium ions can penetrate the surface of land or air dwelling proteins. We have developed a method for applying a flavorful and durable crust to roasts and/or steaks, explained in the article “Post Processing Rubs and Crusts” on our sister site, Sousvideresources.

Using a cold start for outdoor smoking can help limit exposure to toxic gases.  Lipavi stainless steel racks can be used for transport and smoker processing. Set the smoker at 180 F/83 C or the lowest possible setting. A top sirloin roast of this thickness can stay in the smoker for four hours or even longer at this temperature without over cooking.

If you do not have access to an outdoor smoker, you can use a generic kitchen oven and still get excellent results. Most ovens can be set as low as 225 F/107 C, in which case the roasting process will most likely go somewhat faster–usually 1-2 hours. In either case, use a probe thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature of the pasteurized roast achieves at least 125 F/52 C.

Remove the roast from the smoker or oven. If desired, the roast can be sliced thin and served in this state, “London Broil” style.

Above: the appearance of a roast after two hours in the outdoor smoker.
Below: the appearance of a roast after 5.5 hours in the outdoor smoker:

Below: Because of sous vide’s ability to convert collagen to gelatin, this roast can also be sliced thick without becoming “chewy.”

Additionally, another step can be taken to create an even more striking visual effect.

Cut an 8 oz/225 g steak from the sous vide processed and smoked roast. Use the seasoning process described HERE on the newly exposed surfaces.

Preheat a cast iron skillet or saute pan to 450 F /232 C. Use a paper towel (or aerosol spray release) to lightly coat the grates of the pan and sear the steak on both sides until the desired appearance is achieved.

If the steak is “hot out of the smoker” this process will take no more than a minute on each side.

If the steak is “cold out of the refrigerator,” treat as raw, just as if you were cooking a steak by traditional means. Use your own judgement and a probe thermometer to confirm the internal temperature of 125 F/52 C or above.

To make the sauce in the picture, visit HERE.

Here is another application of Beef Top Sirloin:

Top Sirloin Culotte/Picahna

Norm King

 

 

 

 

 

 

The roast maintains the uniform appearance of doneness, “rare” in this case. This is the result of the combination of sous vide processing, low temperature smoking and the somewhat unique characteristics of beef top sirloin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even with the searing process being applied to the individual steak, the coloring is retained. The fact that sous vide was originally used assures retention of moisture that is extremely difficult and unreliable using other means of cooking.

 

See how to make the sauce HERE

Presentation

Presenting your labor of love impressively need not be intimidating or nerve wracking. I always take seasonal availability of vegetables and other ingredients into account.

 

Something so simple as a sliced or cubed heirloom tomato can bring a lot of attitude and altitude to any presentation.

 

A blanched celery heart that is then char broiled evokes the sort of “mixed grill” feeling to the dish.

 

Everybody hates kale until it is prepared properly, and thickened cream brings forgiveness to almost any vegetable that otherwise meets resistance.

Norm King

 

About

Sous-B-Q refers to the combination of sous vide processing with outdoor smoking. This fusion combines smokey flavors with precise doneness.
Without sous vide tenderization, beef top sirloin can be quite tough. The good news is that this cut is usually reasonably priced.

It is also very high in myoglobin, which helps it retain it's red/pink coloring for those of us who prefer our beef "rare." Because of this, even when reprocessed using an outdoor smoker, the cut sirloin retains its favored appearance of doneness.

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