For those of us who have made aliyah, it is our first exposure to meat from the part of the beef forbidden to us by edict. It appears on menus in upscale restaurants, and is spoken of in hushed, reverent tones. Finding it glatt kosher/mehadrin is even more elusive. Even the name suggests a bit of guilty pleasure. I’m talking, of course, about sinta.
Before I continue, I want to make something clear: sinta is not tenderloin. Let me repeat that: sinta is not the beef tenderloin.
We are all familiar with the fact that kosher meat in North America only comes from the front half of the beef, without going into tremendous detail about the whys and wherefores of this restriction. We have been limited, therefore, to cuts of meat from the shoulder, or chuck, and the front half of the rib section. While this wide variety satiates our appetite for beef, it only amount to half of what is our God-given right to enjoy.
Beyond the thirteenth rib is the primal cut known as the loin. It contains the remainder of the ribs, as well as the beef tenderloin — a small, tapered strip of muscle tucked against the spine of the cow that does almost nothing for the entire life of the animal. The portion towards the back of the primal was the part given to knights and other men of importance, as it contained the tenderest and choicest cuts of meat. Hence the name sirloin. No, really.
Sinta is the same muscle as the ribeye (longissimus dorsi). It has less cover fat, a little less marbling, but it is a tender piece, suitable for grilling and pan roasting. With the bone, it’s known as Kansas City Strip. Boneless, it’s New York Strip.
I chose to roast it whole, for a celebratory Shabbat dinner. This was a rather large piece of meat — longer than my forearm — and it served 13 people with some left over. Let me take you through it.