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How to Cook the Perfect Sirloin Roast Beef

Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.

Perfectly medium-rare roast beef

Perfectly medium-rare roast beef

The Perfect Sirloin Roast

If you're lucky enough to find a sirloin roast or sirloin tip roast, then you've elevated a beef roast far beyond a simple pot roast, yummy as that might be. I've noticed they aren't often carried in regular grocery stores, but that may just be because I live in a tiny town with few choices. Larger areas should have them, or the meat counter will probably order one for you if you ask.

I've done a couple of articles on roasting beef with different cuts and techniques. This one, however, might be just about my favorite. If you want beautifully tender, medium-rare slices of juicy beef, then read on, mon ami!

I love sirloin tip roasts. They are far less expensive than prime rib and, if purchased at a warehouse club or in bulk, actually bring something a bit luxurious into the realm of a tightly controlled food budget. If you're careful when you shop, you can often find sirloin tip roasts—whole ones—for less than $5–$6 per pound. Serve the roast as simple, perfectly roasted beef the first night, then use the rest for French dip sandwiches with the leftover jus, beef pot pie, sliced thin on a green salad, and even use the trimmings for beef stock. While the initial roast may be more than you're used to thinking of for a single meal, when it's done well, it can lead to several meals, so it's pretty economical per serving.

Like most of my recipes, this is far simpler to achieve than you might think. You really only need a few ingredients, including salt and pepper. The only specialty piece of equipment you need is a good meat thermometer, and if you've been reading my articles, you should already have one. If you don't, go get one! It's one of the best investments you can make for fabulous food. The payoff is amazing.

How to Make Au Jus

Au jus is French for 'with juice,' and jus is the perfect compliment for this roast. Make sure you place the roast for resting and carving on a board with ridges to catch the juices—save those and transfer them all to a small saucepot. Add a splash of red wine—just a couple of tablespoons, a smashed clove of garlic, and all the bits and pieces that you trim away from the roast as you carve it. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, strain, and serve with the sliced roast.

Don't Use Cooking Charts

All I ask is that you don't pay attention to the charts that tell you how long to roast per pound—these are so inaccurate you'll end up with underdone or overdone roast and a broken heart. Don't do this to yourself.

The charts don't work because there's no way to accurately predict the starting temperature of the roast, the accuracy of the oven temperature, or the way you're holding your pinky when you put the roast in the oven.

Those all affect how long the cooking process takes. With a meat thermometer, you can stick the roast in the oven and go play tiddlywinks while it cooks, without ever having to bat an eyelash. Set the thermometer to the temperature you want, and it'll alert you when it's time to pull it out. The roast cost more than the thermometer, so just do it my way. You'll thank me.

Perfect Sirloin Roast Recipe

You really don't need much to make the perfect sirloin roast. The meat itself is what should be the star of the show. A few aromatic ingredients are all it takes for a mouth watering result.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3–5 pound) roast
  • 2–3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Several cranks of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put all ingredients except the roast into the bowl of a food processor, and pulse several times until finely chopped. You can also chop them and whisk together by hand. Don't skimp on the salt. It will work with the natural juices of the roast to form the crusty exterior.
  3. Rub the garlic/rosemary mixture thoroughly over the surface of the roast, massaging it in. Insert the probe of a meat thermometer into the very center of the roast.
  4. Place in oven, and roast until you reach an internal temperature of 130 degrees F for medium rare. For each additional 'step' of doneness, add 10 degrees. So medium would be 140, medium-well, 150, and well-done 160.
  5. Pull from the oven when the thermometer reads 130. Make a tent of foil and loosely cover the roast. You'll see carryover cooking increase the temperature another 5–10 degrees. That's fine. You planned on it.
  6. Carve the roast on a cutting board or large platter to catch the juices. Don't waste those—they are delicious too! Use a spoon to drizzle the jus over the meat when you serve it.

A little horseradish sauce is also a very fine thing, as is good Dijon, or a red wine sauce . . . or nothing! This one is flavorful enough to go naked! Yay naked!

Photo Guide

Blending the seasonings. I like making a paste in the food processor for even distribution of the seasoning.

Blending the seasonings. I like making a paste in the food processor for even distribution of the seasoning.

Use a thermometer for the best results. This shows the temperature I was aiming for: 130 degrees F. It also shows carryover cooking at work—the roast continued to rise in temperature after I took it out.

Use a thermometer for the best results. This shows the temperature I was aiming for: 130 degrees F. It also shows carryover cooking at work—the roast continued to rise in temperature after I took it out.

Tying or trussing the roast with butcher's twine helps keep it evenly sized, ensuring even cooking and a more consistent result.

Tying or trussing the roast with butcher's twine helps keep it evenly sized, ensuring even cooking and a more consistent result.

Get an even distribution of the seasonings over the surface of the roast for a perfect crust.

Get an even distribution of the seasonings over the surface of the roast for a perfect crust.

Make sure you insert the probe of your thermometer into the thickest part of the roast for an accurate reading.

Make sure you insert the probe of your thermometer into the thickest part of the roast for an accurate reading.

Perfectly cooked: medium-rare sirloin tip roast

Perfectly cooked: medium-rare sirloin tip roast