If you’re consistently buying the most common steak cuts, you’re missing out. While T-Bones and New York Strips are delicious in their own right, they’re also some of the most expensive cuts you’ll find at your local butcher. But by branching out into less common cuts, you can get the best of both worlds: A great price, and unforgettable flavor.
Case in point: The coulotte steak. Also known as the sirloin strip, sirloin butt cap, or top sirloin cap steak, this flavorful steak can be prepared in a versatile range of recipes. Once you get to know it well, you might never go back to your usual steak cuts! So please, allow me to share what I know about the coulotte steak with you — including how it tastes, the best ways to cook it, and the best way to order it either online or from your local butcher.
What Does Coulotte Steak Taste Like?
Because it’s taken from the loin primal cut, coulotte steak will have a pronounced “beefy” flavor. It often has excellent marbling, with a texture that’s close to a strip steak. They’re not quite as strongly flavored as a ribeye, since there’s a fair bit of connective tissue that doesn’t contribute to the flavor.
Even without a marinade, a coulotte steak will be quite tender — but with just a little bit of salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar, its flavor and texture will really shine.
How to Cook Coulotte Steak
As one of the most tender cuts from the sirloin, the coulotte steak is an extremely versatile piece of meat. Really, there’s almost no wrong way to cook it! But in my experience, three preparations really make a coulotte steak stand out: Grilling, stir frying, and marinating (with a sauté afterwards). Let’s take a closer look at each!
Method 1: Grilling
Coulotte steak is flavorful and tender enough to prepare it in every backyard barbecue enthusiast’s favorite way: On the grill! Look for a steak that has good marbling and not much visible connective tissue, with a deep red color that indicates its beefy flavor. Rub that steak with salt and pepper, get your grill going as hot as you’d like, and sear it for a few minutes on each side. Let it rest for five minutes, then slice it thinly across the grain.
I wouldn’t take a coulotte steak much past medium, as it will lose a lot of tenderness if you overcook it. If you prefer your steaks medium-well or well done, consider using a marinade beforehand; more on that in a moment.
Also, Korean cuisine has a treasure trove of beef recipes for anyone willing to branch out and try something new. Maybe you’ve even seen the awesome Korean barbecue restaurants, where you grill your own steak in the center of the table? If not, you’ll definitely want to check it out in this video from Eater:
Method 2: Stir Frying
Taking another cue from Asian cuisine, using a stir frying method with your coulotte steak will let you cook it to tender perfection in no time. Served over rice with a simple soy sauce dressing, this can make a fast and filling meal any night of the week.
There are three tricks to succeeding with stir fried beef:
- Cut your steak into thin, evenly sized strips. I aim for 3 inches long, an inch wide, and about a half inch thick.
- Make sure your pan is extremely hot before throwing the beef in. This will create a quick sear, sealing in the juices of each piece.
- Keep your beef moving constantly from the time you throw it in the pan, and take it out just before it looks done; it will continue to cook a little after it’s off the heat source.
Of course, a wok is the traditional way of stir frying ingredients. Its tall, sloped walls and thin metal allow you to reposition what you’re cooking, either dropping it into the hottest part of the pan or moving it up to the cooler sides. If you don’t have a wok, don’t worry: A simple sauté pan will work quite well, too.
Method 3: Marinating
Our third and final method is best reserved for anyone who likes their steak fully cooked (medium well to well done). If you try to cook an unseasoned coulotte steak this way, you’ll likely end up with an overly chewy steak — and nobody wants that. That’s why I always recommend marinating your coulotte steak if you’d like to cook it to well done.
For a simple but delicious marinade, you can use a bottle of dark beer and season it with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Pack your steak away with the beer mix in a resealable plastic bag, and leave it in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours. Then grill or stir fry it up however you’d like! It will be extra flavorful, and stay nice and tender.
Where to Buy Coulotte Steak
When you’re looking for any cut of beef, your local grocer or butcher is a great place to start. Ask for a coulotte steak by name, but keep in mind that they may know it better as a sirloin strip. And if you’re having trouble finding a coulotte steak in your area, you can always order a sirloin cut online; the grass-fed top sirloin from FarmFoods would definitely do the trick!