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Aug 30, 2010 09:04 AM

What is "Sirloin?"

When I was a kid, my mother often made "sirloin" steaks. They usually had either a round bone or a straight bone. I have not seen this cut for many years--the cuts of beef now called either "sirloin", "top sirloin" or "sirloin tips" is clearly different. For one thing, they come boneless. What was the cut of beef formerly known as "sirloin?" Is it still around (albeit under a different name) and why did it change (probably not because of contractual disputes)?

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  1. Consumer preference and centralized meat packing are the factors at work here. "Boneless" anything commands a higher price. No butchers receive hanging beef sides anymore, it is all primal and sub-primal cuts in gassed cryovac packs. These cuts come as to minimize the work at store level. The only way to get what you want is to find a locally slaughtered steer and ask for pin bone/flat bone sirloin steak.
    My opinion on cooking meat/poultry/fish...When cooked on the bone the finished product has more taste, juicyness, and better eye appeal......just my opinion.

    1. Did it kind of look like a ham steak?

      3 Replies
      1. re: aziline

        The round-boned version was something like that (I think). I don't do much with ham steak, however, so it's a little hard to say.

        1. re: pgreen

          There is the "round bone" or Pin Bone, and the flat bone, all things of the past thanks to efficent slaughtering and packing.

          1. re: pgreen

            it's probably not from the Loin. The only 2 cuts that would could have a bone would be a new york or a t bone.

            The round bone was probably the femur from the Round. If you leave the Top (Inside) and the Bottom (Outside) together with the femur bone (in the middle) you can slice it up into steaks, like a ham steak. Packing houses are getting away from making bone-in rounds though. Some cuts of the round do have sirloin in their name, like sirloin tip, so calling it sirloin isn't that off.

            On a side note I don't like how the name sirloin is used in connection with the round. It makes the meat sound better than it is.

            I'm not sure where the straight bone comes from. You could get one from the shoulder blade but that's on the other end.

        2. I've seen bone in sirloin for sale at supermarket lately, but did not buy. Next time I will observe more carefully, but that's what it was called. Maybe a Tbone that was missing the other half?