You might call this a poor man’s filet, and I’d let you. As long as you stipulated that it was a poor man with a better palate than a rich man. I’ve probably said this before, but I’m not a big a fan of filet mignon. At those prices, I much prefer meatier cuts of beef like rib eye. Just like filet, rib eye is a pricy cut of cow. There are other options however. Sirloin is a good flavorful piece of meat, and it’s about half the price of filet. So go ahead and call my Sirloin Medallions with Charred Figs and Gorgonzola a Poor Man’s Filet with Fancy Stuff on the Side.
As far as I can tell, the main attraction for filet lovers is the soft, tender texture of the meat. Filet comes from a little used muscle and that accounts for the buttery texture. Top sirloin has a similar texture, so it’s easy to make the comparison with filet. Another thing I like about filet is its size (4 or 5 oz). Sometimes just a bit of tender, juicy red meat is enough to satisfy the carnivore in me.
Typically sirloin steaks are cut to 8 oz portions (rib eyes can be much larger). Which may be more meat than you really want to eat. Sirloin medallions, also called petite sirloins, differ from their full-size counterparts in comparable size. Like filet, they come in 4 or 5 oz portions. Most sirloin medallions are about 1½-inch thick and 3 to 4 inches wide, again similar to filet.
The sirloin and top sirloin are located just below and just above the tenderloin (which is home to the filet). Medallions are taken from the fore end of the top sirloin, close to the pointed end of the tenderloin. In other words not to far from filet mignon territory. Sirloin medallions are best cooked fast and hot, so they don’t have time to toughen. Grilling, pan-frying, and roasting are the best ways to handle this lean cut of beef. Like its famous neighbor, sirloin medallions have a tender bite, and remain juicy as long as you don’t cook them past medium. So you can see why it’s fine by me if you call these sirloin medallions Poor Man’s Filet.
2011 Qupé Central Coast Syrah
Pairs well with barbecue, cheese, duck, mushrooms, pork, sausage.
Sirloin Medallions with Charred Figs and Gorgonzola, Poor Man’s Filet.
Poor Man’s this and Poor Man’s that. From tacos to crab cakes my mom had a recipe for every poor man under the sun. Which is kinda funny. We weren’t poor (nor were we rich). I guess anyone who’s not rich thinks that they’re poor. Heck, maybe rich people think that they’re poor too. I don’t know.
Which may explain why my mom even called me a Poor Man’s Oscar Wilde once. To this day Poor Man’s anything will always remind me of my mom. But Oscar Wilde? Whatever could she have meant by that?
Naturally any mom who reads Oscar Wilde must have served her own version of Poor Man’s Filet. Maybe yours did too.
My mom’s Poor Man’s Filet wasn’t sirloin medallions however. In my house Poor Man’s Filet was simply an extra thick hamburger patty wrapped in bacon. I’m not sure how ground beef compares to filet mignon, but I sure loved it as a kid.
Wow. Who knew Sirloin Medallions with Charred Figs and Gorgonzola could be such a trip down memory lane. It’s been a pleasant journey though, so I think I have to get my brother involved. My mom called him a Poor Man’s Alfred E. Newman. Which is even harder to understand than Oscar Wilde.
Anyway, Alfred (err I mean Grant) has some Poor Man’s Tips for pairing steak with wine. Because the one thing I know about steak is this: any man or woman (women can be poor too) who spends good money on any cut of steak– deserves a really good wine. GREG
Beautifully cooked (as always), and a rather comprehensive lesson in cuts of beef.…thanks!
I’m with you on filet mignon — just not that much flavor. Great texture, but who cares when there’s no there there? Sirloin is good stuff, and I love it too. And this recipe. Sometimes it’s good being poor, isn’t it? 😉
If I were a rich man I’d still like this. A winning combo.
The two differences that I notice between top sirloin and filet is that 1) top sirloin has a beefier flavor (a good thing) and 2) while both are tender at medium rare, sirloin gets tougher sooner as you start to get into medium and beyond. That said, it is one of my favorite budget cuts and you treated it well here.
Ha! I never heard of this cut being the poor man’s filet, but you are right: it’s a great cut of meat. We grill up sirloin steaks to make it economical to feed a family of five good steak. I love the addition of figs!
If this is what poor men eat… bring it on!
You know, I have never paid any attention to the provenance of my meat. I am so glad to know this. While I enjoy a filet for its aforementioned buttery quality, it does lack flavor. Give me a rib eye any day! Love the charred figs… just coming into the market here”
such a delicious combination of flavors! beautiful figs. beautiful ceramic plates, too. love those. 🙂
this looks awesome! love the idea of using figs… definitely something i will be trying. thanks for the idea!
I have never had poor man’s anything but then I stopped with meat at age twelve. I do remember that one of the few meats I enjoyed, and the only way my family ever ate such pricy stuff was filet mignon that got sent to my dad once a year by a grateful patient. But I think I mainly liked the accompanying bernaise and asparagus my mom made for it. I think I would be into these figs and Gorgonzola too!
Okay I’ll have a little steak with my figs, but give me those figs!
Poor man; rich man. I don’t care; just feed me this dish!