Both New York strip and tenderloin are standard steakhouse favorites, prized for their lean, tender meat and lack of tough connective tissue. Cut from the long, little-working muscles along the steer’s spine, the strip and the tenderloin form a T-bone when left on the bone. Neither should be marinated, nor do they benefit from cooking beyond medium rare [Cook’s Thesaurus].
New York Strip
Also known as the Kansas City strip, or rather confusingly, the top sirloin, the New York strip is a boneless steak with a single fat rind, cut from the rear of the steer at the short loin behind the ribs. When sold with the bone in, it becomes a shell steak.
Apart from the rind, New York strip has very little fat, yet doesn’t sacrifice marbling. With a clearly defined grain, the steak has a pleasantly chewy texture and an assertive, beefy flavor.
Not only does the New York strip command top prices, but restaurants also cherish strip as an easy-to-prepare steak, the absence of a bone keeping cooking times down and doneness easy to nail.
Like rib eye, New York strip is an excellent steak for grilling, without any of the fat flare-ups associated with the former.
Season the steak with kosher salt and pepper only, before grilling it over an intense, direct heat with the cover off to stop it from drying out.
- Turn the steak 90 degrees to get the cross-hatch sear marks, then flip it just once after 4 to 5 minutes. Otherwise, avoid the temptation to move the steak on the rack.
For pan-frying, make sure to start off with a strip at room temperature in order to secure an even cook and to hit the desired doneness precisely. Likewise, pat the steak dry before seasoning to maximize the sear.
Start with a hot, smoking skillet and just a dash of oil, and fry the steak on one side for 2 to 3 minutes without moving it. Flip the steak once it has developed a crustm but before the middle has a chance to cook through and dry out.
Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for five minutes, during which the juices will consolidate and the internal temperature will continue to rise.
- Although the USDA recommends a safe internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the New York strip will be medium-rare at around 130 degrees. Any higher, and the meat will be tough and dry.
Typically the most expensive steak on the menu, the tenderloin is a lean, boneless cut from the central section of the short loin muscle. The Chateaubriand comes from the thicker end of the tenderloin, while the filet mignon is at the thinner, tapered end [The Kitchn].
As its name suggests, the tenderloin slices with little resistance, but it can be low on flavor and is susceptible to drying out if overcooked. One solution is to wrap the steak in bacon, another is to baste it in butter during pan-frying.
Tenderloin is usually cut as a compact round, typically around 3 inches wide, as opposed to the inch-thick New York strip. Too lean and delicate to grill, the tenderloin should be seared first in a hot skillet for no more than 3 minutes on each side, then transferred to a hot oven, around 450 degrees, for no more than 7 or 8 minutes, to cook the center with an even heat. As with the strip, a 5-minute rest is essential before serving.