The sirloin medallion, also known as a petite sirloin steak, is a lean cut of beef generally cut from the bottom sirloin. While this cut is tasty, the best way to cook medallion steaks is to first sear them in a hot skillet to lock in juices and then slow cook in the oven to your desired doneness.
The best way to cook steak medallions is to first sear the steak in a hot skillet and then transfer to a 400-degree-Fahrenheit oven and cook until your steak has reached desired doneness. For food safety, cook until your steak has reached an internal temperature of 145 F.
Medallion Steak vs. Sirloin
Finding the cut of beef you're looking for in the meat section of your supermarket may not be as easy as you'd think. The names of the cuts of beef can vary from one grocery store to another, as well as one region of the country to another, according to Fine Cooking. But if you have a general understanding of the different primal cuts of beef, you may have an easier time finding your medallion steak.
Sirloin is one of the nine primal cuts of beef, which also includes round, flank and ribs. The sirloin cut is found near the back of the cow in between the loin and round cuts. For frame of reference, the round primal cut is the rear of the cow. Because the muscles in the sirloin cut do very little work, the retail cuts, also known as subprimal cuts, created from this portion of beef are very tender.
When comparing medallion steak to sirloin, the medallion steak is a subprimal cut from the primal cut of sirloin. More specifically, the medallion steak is cut from the bottom portion of the sirloin, near the hip bone.
Read more: How to Cook Steak on a Baking Sheet
Comparing the Nutrition
The USDA doesn't provide specific nutrition information for the medallion steak, which is also referred to as the ball tip, according to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, but the cut of beef may be nutritionally similar to the bottom round roast. A 3-ounce portion of roasted bottom round roast has:
- 144 calories
- 24 grams of protein
- 5 grams of total fat
- 1.5 grams of saturated fat
The same portion of broiled top sirloin steak has:
- 186 calories
- 25 grams of protein
- 9 grams of total fat
- 3.5 grams of saturated fat
The bottom portion of the sirloin may be leaner than the top, saving you calories, total fat and saturated fat. Too much saturated fat in your diet may increase blood cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends you limit your intake of saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your daily calories, which is equal to 22 grams of saturated fat a day on a 2,000-calorie diet.
While many health organizations recommend you limit your intake of red meat due to links to heart disease and cancer, an October 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says that limiting your intake of red meat may only slightly reduce your risk of these diseases.
However, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says the results of this study contradict other findings and shouldn't change current healthy eating recommendations.
Cooking Medallion Steaks
The best way to cook medallion steaks is with dry heat, such as grilling or broiling. However, because the meat is very lean, Washington State University recommends you sear the steak over high heat to seal in the juices and the flavor, and then finish cooking on the grill or in the oven with a lower heat.
How to cook beef medallion steaks:
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Season your room-temperature medallions with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet over high heat and then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Once your oil starts to smoke, add your medallion steaks.
- Cook until meat has formed a deep brown crust, about five minutes for a 2 1/2-inch-thick medallion, then flip and cook the other side. Turn the heat down to medium-high if your meat is browning too quickly.
- Place your medallions in the preheated oven and roast for five to 15 minutes, or until medallions have reached desired doneness.
- Allow your medallions to rest for three minutes before serving.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), you should cook your steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F, which will kill any potential harmful pathogens. Cooking to this temperature creates a steak that's medium-rare, according to AND.
- Fine Cooking: "Cuts of Meat: The Anatomy of a Steer"
- Beef: It's What's For Dinner: "Petite Sirloin Steak"
- National Cattlemen's Beef Association: "Beef Cuts: Primal & Subprimal Weights and Yields"
- FoodData Central: "Bottom Round, Bottom Round Roast, Separable Lean Only, Trimmed to 0" Fat, Select, Cooked, Roasted"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Beef, Top Sirloin, Steak, Separable Lean and Fat, Trimmed to 0" Fat, Choice, Cooked, Broiled"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Facts About Saturated Fats"
- Annals of Internal Medicine: "Patterns of Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk for Cardiometabolic and Cancer Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "New 'Guidelines' Say Continue Red Meat Consumption Habits, But Recommendations Contradict Evidence"
- Washington State University: "How to Cook Lean Beef"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Can Rare Meat Be Safe?"