Sierra steak comes from the shoulder and neck area of the animal. With its visible grain and long, narrow appearance, sierra steak closely resembles flank steak. Like many cuts from the chuck section, the steak has an excellent, beefy flavor. There are only two sierra steaks per animal, so this cut isn't frequently found in stores.
Smoke, then Braise
Sierra steak is among the tougher steaks. It should be marinated, then cooked over high heat using special care not to overcook. Slice it against the grain after cooking for maximum tenderness. Sierra steak can also be braised.
Over high heat, place the sierra steak directly on the grill grates and grill for 5 to 10 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Sierra steak can also be used for pot roast.
Sierra steak is not one of the best cuts of steak. It isn't very tender, and will be extremely tough if overcooked. If you are looking for a lean, tender steak that won't break the bank, a flat iron steak is a better choice. But sierra steak is inexpensive, especially as an alternative to flank steak.
Sierra steak is usually sold at lower prices than similar cuts like the flank steak. Expect to pay around $5 per pound.
The cut is done when the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare.
This cut is best for marinating and grilling. It also makes for a tender braise.
Yes, if grilled over high heat, this cut can be cooked from frozen.
The sierra steak comes from the shoulder, and the flank steak comes from the belly area. The cuts do look similar, they have very visible grain and are long and narrow.
The sierra steak is one of the steaks "discovered" by beef industry researchers in the early 2000s. The flat iron, Denver steak, and shoulder tender are among the others.
These cuts are somewhat hidden within the large muscle group of the shoulder. But researchers found that when they identified and tested certain muscles, they were as tender as better-known cuts. The beef industry worked to publicize these "new" cuts, such as the sierra. Butchers were trained on how to identify and separate the cuts as less expensive alternatives to popular steaks.
The sierra comes from the splenius muscle, which runs along the neck. As a support muscle, it isn't worked as much as other muscles. Researchers found that it is just as tender as top sirloin.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association identifies the sierra steak with UPC number 1097. You may see this number in the UPC code on the beef package label at the supermarket.
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