The Best Way to Cook Four Pounds of Sirloin Roast

by A.J. Andrews

The Best Way to Cook Sirloin for a Crowd

Whether you're cooking a 4-pound sirloin for roast beef sandwiches or a family-style meal, one method stands out from the rest: slow-roasting to medium-rare or a "light" medium, followed by oven-searing for a fabulous crust. Sirloin has almost as much tenderness as prime rib, so you don't have to go the braising route, but cooking to any temperature above medium dries and toughens the meat.

Unlike smaller roasts and steaks, you want to sear a 4-pound sirloin after slow-roasting it instead of before. When you sear a large roast first then lower the temperature, the meat immediately underlying the surface cooks to well-done, whereas when you sear post-cooking, more of the underlying meat stays closer to the desired medium-rare to medium doneness. In short, reverse-searing produces a more evenly cooked roast than other dry-heat cooking methods.

Total time: 4 hours, 15 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound sirloin roast
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Kitchen twine
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to the lowest temperature or the warm setting. Season the sirloin roast liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and brush it with olive oil.
  2. Tie the roast crosswise at 1-inch intervals using kitchen twine. Set the sirloin on a rack inside a roasting pan, and place it in the oven.
  3. Roast the sirloin until it reaches 125F (for medium rare) or 130F (for medium), about 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Take the roast out of the oven and untie it.
  4. Let the roast rest for at least 20 minutes. Set the oven to the highest temperature and brush the roast with olive oil.
  5. Return the roast to the oven after it heats to the highest temperature. Sear the roast until a caramelized crust forms, 7 to 10 minutes. Slice the roast to the desired thickness, and serve.

Tips

  • For the ultimate in juiciness, salt the sirloin, at least 12 hours up to as long as three days, before cooking it. The salt mixes with the roast's natural moisture, making a type of brine that tenderizes and plumps the protein fibers.

    To make a complementary pan gravy, transfer the pan drippings to a saucepan and add 1 cup of beef stock. Bring the stock to a simmer and mix together 1 tablespoon each flour and butter. Whisk in the butter mixture one small piece at a time until dissolved. Season the gravy to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve it with the roast.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.