Grilled Sirloin with Red-Wine Braised Shallots

Grilled Sirloin with Red-Wine Braised Shallots

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Recipe by Stephen Pavy

Serves: 6

Serve with Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

This recipe is easily extended. Figure 5 to 7 ounces of steak per person. Buy two smaller steaks if you can’t find an entire steak in the size you need.

Season the meat 12 hours in advance. (If you forget, cut back the amount of kosher salt to ¾ tsp. instead of the 1 ½ tsp.)

2 ½ to 3 lbs. top sirloin steak, 1 ½" to 2" thick. (NOTE: Use the best part of the sirloin, usually referred to as "Top Sirloin" or "Top Butt", "Center-Cut" or "Hip Sirloin". Do not use "Bottom Sirloin" or "Bottom Butt". Make sure the cut is at least 1 ½" thick otherwise it will grill too quickly and become dry and overdone. Also use "Choice" grade or "Prime" if you can; do not use "Select".)

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Red-Wine Braised Shallots

The day or morning before you plan to grill the steak, sprinkle both sides of it with the salt. Set it aside on a large plate and cover loosely (waxed paper works well). Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

About an hour before you are ready to cook, remove the steak from the refrigerator to let it warm up.

Prepare your grill. (If you use charcoal, aim for a medium-hot charcoal fire; if you use gas, set to medium high.)

Wipe the steak dry with paper towels, coat very lightly with oil and season with black pepper.

Put the steak on the readied grill. Grill for 8 to 9 minutes per side for medium rare; a minute or two longer for medium. Check for doneness by making a small cut into the steak and peeking inside: if the meat looks a shade or two less done than you would like, it is done. It will continue cooking once it is taken off the grill.

Move the steak to a carving board and cover with foil. Let rest for about 5 minutes.

To serve, either carve the steak into six pieces, or into ¼" slices. Spoon any collected juices onto the meat and top each serving with the braised shallots.

Red-Wine Braised Shallots

Serves: 6

1 lb. Shallots
2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Cognac or brandy
½ cup Dry red wine (cabernet sauvignon works well)
1 tsp. Fresh thyme leaves, plus ½ tsp. lightly chopped thyme leaves
¼ tsp. Red-wine vinegar; more to taste


Trim and peel the shallots (keep some of the root end intact to hold them together during cooking). Cut any large shallots into two pieces.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing the shallots frequently, until browned in spots and fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Cognac (or brandy). If you are cooking over gas, tilt the pan to ignite the brandy (and be careful! On an electric stove, hold a match to ignite the brandy.) Let the flames die down and then cook until there is only a glaze in the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and 1 tsp. of the thyme leaves. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook until the shallots are completely soft and falling apart, about 40 to 45 minutes. Check occasionally and add water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, if needed. Do not let the pan dry out. When the shallots are soft, uncover the pan and reduce any excess liquid to a glaze over medium heat. Stir and taste for seasoning. Reserve at room temperature for a couple of hours, or, if made ahead, refrigerate.

To serve, mix the remaining chopped thyme. Bring to room temperature if this has been refrigerated. Season to taste with the vinegar.