Sirloin Tip Steak with Harissa Marinade

Silly me, I made the mistake of assuming the grocery store would be open on Sunday, as usual.  Rediscovering that it was Easter meant that dinner plans had to be changed, subject to rescuing something from our freezer.  (Maybe there’s an analogy to be made, but I won’t go there.)  In the recesses of the freezer, there was a package labeled “sirloin tip steak” from the 1/8 grass-fed cattle share we got last year from Heritage Foods USA.  The sirloin tip steak is not top sirloin – it is a more “economical” lean cut of meat that can be tough and chewy if you don’t treat it right.  According to, the sirloin tip steak, aka “round tip”, can be used to make cutlets (fast fry), stir-fry, kabobs, stew, cube steak, or can be marinated and grilled.  I decided to do something in between kabobs and a marinated steak – – I’ll call this “faux sirloin tips”.

The recipe for the harissa marinade is slightly modified from Bon Appétit via (Harissa-Marinated Top Sirloin Tips) to make it more paleo-diet friendly – namely switching out the brown sugar for coconut palm sugar, and the soy sauce for coconut aminos.  I can’t take any credit for the harissa either, since I bought it pre-made from The Spice House.  Harissa is a common North African condiment made from chilies, oil, garlic, and spices. This organic version, made on a family estate in Tunisia, is not overly spicy and is a great complement to beef.  This turned out to be one of those happy meals that came together with minimal planning and effort.  We grilled some red and yellow sweet bell peppers to serve with the meat hunks, and washed it down with a nice Zinfandel.  Yum!


  • 2 pounds sirloin tip steak (or top sirloin steak)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  •  3/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons harissa sauce

Cut the steak into 2- to 3-inch-wide strips, then cut the strips into 2- to 3-inch triangles.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large glass (or non-reactive) bowl and mix well.  Add the beef triangles and toss in the marinade to coat evenly.  Marinate for up to an hour at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate to marinate up to one day.  Toss occasionally to mix.  (The longer the meat can marinate, the better.)

Set up a grill for cooking at ~400F.  When the grill is ready, grill the meat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until desired level of doneness.  (Medium rare would be best for this lean meat, in my opinion.)


Got some great music recently! First up, Tragic Songs of Life/Satan Is Real by the Louvin Brothers. I’m currently reading Charlie Louvin’s book, and his description of the early days on the road with his brother Ira is hair-raising stuff! So is this set of some of their biggest albums. Their influence is vast on country music, and their harmonies are as good as you’ll hear anywhere. And “Satan is Real” is easily the best cover ever!

I’ve written about Guy Clark here before, so I was thrilled to hear of this- This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark. It’s a treasure, with some of the greatest songs ever, sung by some pretty esteemed folks such as Joe Ely, Emmylou, Shawn Colvin and a wonderful version of “She Ain’t Going Nowhere” by The Trishas. Sometimes tribute albums are hit or miss, but this one is two discs of hit!


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