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Standardization of meat names in America isn’t great. On the web I’ve got sources that say that the “tri-tip” comes from the top sirloin, and I’ve got sources that say it’s from the bottom sirloin and — I’m not sure I’ll ever know for sure if I’ve got what the people out West call a tri-tip. Bummer – they agree that it’s great, but they can’t agree what it is.
Anyway, different stores use different names. If you can tell us where you are buying, we might be able to give you better names. I buy from Sam’s Wholesale Club. It happens that some Sam’s Club stores put the Top Sirloin sub-primal out for sale, and others do not.
A top sirloin sub-primal at Sam’s runs about 12-13 pounds. I got a “top round” at a Sam’s Club – 17 pounds, that was not top sirloin. But after 30 days dry aging it is some fantastic beef.
If you are purchasing from a grocery store, I think you are even more subject to the whimsy of what-they-have and what-they-call-it. I’d expect to see names like Sirloin Roast or Sirloin Tip. And honestly I’m not sure what those mean. Although I’d expect that, dry-aged for 30 days, you’d have some beef that you’d be proud of. My best success was a 30-day roast that was called “Top Sirloin” by the local supermarket. Price stank. But even so, it was a great haunch of beef.
I continue to work at experiments for lower price for similar results. At the moment my best candidate is top sirloin, aged for 30 days or more. For two reasons, I recommend that this group experiment with top sirlioin: (1) top sirloin is CHEAPER. Cost is half of ribeye. (2) LESS WASTE. The amount of fat in a ribeye is incredible, compared to a top sirloin. (OK,. ribeye from Sam’s Wholesale Club, can’t assume that other sources are the same).
But a top sirloin is _meat_. You get to peel off the picanha / culotte / rump cover and save it for your very best friends. And then you end up with these huge muscles. Not like a Sam’s Club Ribeye that has huge amounts of fat in it.
I’ll do some digging. I’ll report what I find. Until then, get the top sirloin and age it for at least 30 days.