When it comes to beef cuts, there is a vast array to choose from, each with its own unique qualities and ideal culinary applications. The eye round steak is one such cut that’s gaining recognition for its lean profile and versatility.
In this article, let’s explore what eye round steak is, its characteristics, how to cook it, and some delicious recipes.
What Is Eye Round Steak?
Eye round steak is derived from the eye of the round roast, located in the cow’s rear leg. This muscle group gets a lot of exercise, resulting in a lean and relatively tough cut of meat. It’s prized for its leanness, with minimal fat marbling, making it ideal for those seeking a lean source of protein. While not as tender as some cuts, it can become surprisingly tender with the right cooking methods. Moreover, it’s budget-friendly, making it a staple for many households.
Characteristics of eye round steak
- Cut and location: Eye round steak is a beef cut derived from the eye of the beef round roast. Situated in the cow’s rear leg, this muscle group gets a good deal of exercise, resulting in a lean and relatively tough cut of meat.
- Leanness: The standout feature of beef eye round steak is its leanness. It boasts minimal fat marbling, which makes it a desirable option for individuals seeking a lean source of protein. Its low-fat content also aligns well with health-conscious diets.
- Tenderness: Regarding tenderness, eye round steak falls between tender cuts like ribeye and tougher cuts like brisket. While it may not be melt-in-your-mouth tender, it can become surprisingly tender with the right cooking methods.
- Affordability: Budget-conscious consumers appreciate eye round steak for its affordability. It provides an economical way to enjoy beef without breaking the bank, making it a staple in many households.
What is eye or round steak good for?
Eye round steak is a lean beef cut with various culinary applications. Despite being less tender than some cuts, its leanness and affordability make it versatile for healthy protein sources. Here are popular uses:
- Roasting: Season the steak, roast it in the oven until desired doneness, and thinly slice for sandwiches or a main dish.
- Beef Stroganoff: Use thinly sliced or diced eye round steak in this dish with mushrooms, onions, and a creamy sauce, served over noodles or rice.
- Stir-fries: Ideal for stir-fries, especially when sliced thinly against the grain, blending well with veggies and sauces.
- Fajitas: Grill or stir-fry thin strips after marinating, and serve with sauteed peppers and onions in tortillas.
- Beef jerky: Make jerky by slicing, marinating, dehydrating, or baking the steak.
How To Cook Eye Round Steak?
How to cook eye round steak in the oven?
Cooking eye round steak in the oven is a straightforward process that can yield a delicious and tender result. Here is a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Preheat the oven
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Step 2: Prepare the steak
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Step 3: Season the steak
- Drizzle olive oil over both sides of the steak, then generously season it with your chosen seasonings.
- Common choices include salt, pepper, garlic powder, and herbs like rosemary or thyme.
- Pat the seasonings onto the meat to adhere well.
Step 4: Sear the steak (optional)
- While not mandatory, searing the steak in a hot skillet for 1-2 minutes per side before transferring it to the oven can enhance flavor and create a nice crust.
- Use an oven-safe skillet or pan for this purpose.
Step 5: Place in oven
- If you didn’t sear the steak, place it directly on an oven-safe baking dish or a wire rack inside a baking sheet.
- If you seared it in a skillet, you can transfer the skillet directly to the oven.
Step 6: Roast in the oven
- Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, avoiding contact with any bones if present.
- Roast the steak until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
Step 7: Rest the steak
- Once the steak reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board.
- Loosely cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes.
- This resting period helps redistribute juices, resulting in a juicy and flavorful steak.
Step 8: slice and serve
- After resting, slice the eye round steak against the grain into thin slices.
- Serve your oven-roasted eye round steak with preferred side dishes, sauces, or gravies.
How to cook thin eye round steak on the stove?
Cooking thin-eye round steak on the stove is a quick and simple process. Here is everything you need to know to cook thin eye round steak on the stove:
Step 1: Prepare the steak
- Remove the thin eye of round roast from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Step 2: Season the steak
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over both sides of the steak to prevent sticking and promote browning.
- Season the steak generously with your preferred seasonings. Common choices include salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Step 3: Heat the skillet
- Place a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat and add cooking oil.
- Let the oil heat up until it’s shimmering but not smoking.
Step 4: Sear the steak
- Carefully place the seasoned steak in a hot skillet.
- Allow it to sear on one side for 2-3 minutes without moving it.
Step 5: Flip and cook
- Flip the steak using tongs after the first side is seared to your liking.
- Cook the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- This short cooking time is usually sufficient for thin cuts like eye round steak.
Step 6: Check doneness
- You can use a meat thermometer if you are unsure about the steak’s doneness. Here are approximate temperatures for different levels of doneness:
|Level of doneness||Recommended temperature|
|Well-done||160°F (71°C) and above|
Step 7: Optional butter basting
- If you want to add extra flavor and moisture, you can baste the steak with a small pat of butter during the last minute of cooking.
- Simply melt the butter in the skillet and spoon it over the steak.
Step 8: Rest and slice
- Remove the steak from the skillet and place it on a cutting board.
- Loosely cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
- This resting period allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a juicy and tender result.
Simple Eye Of Round Steak Recipes – Garlic And Herb Marinated Eye Of Round Steak
- 1-2 pounds of eye round steak
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary and dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Create the marinade:
- Combine the minced garlic, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.
- Mix everything thoroughly to create a flavorful marinade.
Marinade the steak:
- Place your eye round steak in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
- Pour the marinade over the steak, ensuring that it's evenly coated.
- Seal the bag or cover the dish, then refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the grill:
- Preheat your grill to a medium-high temperature, around 400-450°F (200-230°C).
Grill the steak:
- Remove the steak from the marinade and let any excess drip off.
- Place the steak on the preheated grill.
- Grill for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
- Adjust the cooking time to achieve your preferred level of doneness.
Rest and slice:
- Once the steak reaches your desired doneness, take it off the grill and rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes.
- Afterward, thinly slice the steak against the grain for maximum tenderness.
Simple Eye Of Round Steak Recipes – Slow Cooker Eye Round Steak With Mushrooms
- 2 pounds of eye round steak
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 2 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (optional for thickening)
Season the steak:
- Season the eye round steak with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and dried thyme.
- In your slow cooker, create layers by placing the thinly sliced onions, followed by the sliced mushrooms.
- Next, position the seasoned steak on top of the vegetables.
- Pour the beef broth over the steak and vegetables.
- Add the minced garlic for extra flavor.
- Cover your slow cooker and set it to the low heat setting.
- Allow it to cook for 6-8 hours or until the steak is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork.
- If you desire a thicker gravy, you can whisk 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with a bit of water and mix it into the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Shred and serve:
- Once fully cooked, use two forks to shred the steak directly in the slow cooker, combining it with the mushrooms and onions.
- Serve this delectable slow-cooked eye round steak and mushroom mixture over cooked rice, creamy mashed potatoes, or alongside some crusty bread.
Tips And Tricks For Cooking Eye Round Steak
Cooking eye round steak can be a rewarding experience if done right. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve a delicious and tender result:
- Marinate for flavor: Eye round steak is a lean cut, so marinating it can add both flavor and moisture. Use your favorite marinade or create one with herbs, spices, and acidity like vinegar or citrus juice. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better – even overnight for maximum flavor infusion.
- Tenderize: Eye round can benefit from tenderizing techniques due to its lean nature. Consider using a meat mallet or a meat tenderizer tool to break down the muscle fibers and improve tenderness. You can also try a simple marinade with enzymes like pineapple or kiwi, as they can help tenderize the meat.
- Season generously: Eye round steak can be bland, so don’t be shy with seasonings. Combining salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and other herbs or spices can enhance the flavor.
- Slice against the grain: when it’s time to serve, always slice the cooked steak against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the muscle fibers. Slicing this way makes each bite more tender and easier to chew.
- Use moist cooking methods: Given its leanness, eye round steak benefits from moist cooking methods like braising or slow cooking. These techniques help break down the tough fibers and keep the meat tender.
What is eye round steak in Pho?
In Pho, eye round steak refers to thin slices of lean beef added to the hot broth before serving. The beef cooks quickly in the hot broth and remains tender. It’s a common ingredient in traditional Vietnamese Pho, adding flavor and texture to the dish.
What is round eye steak in Spanish?
In Spanish, round eye steak is typically called “bistec de ojo de bife” or simply “ojo de bife”. The term “bistec” translates to “steak,” and “ojo de bife” specifically means “eye of beef” or “eye of steak,” which corresponds to the round eye steak.
What is eye round marinating steak?
Eye round steak is a beef steak cut from the eye of a round roast. It’s a lean cut of meat that benefits from marinating to enhance its flavor and tenderness. Marinating involves soaking the steak in a flavorful mixture, often containing ingredients like oil, acid (such as vinegar or citrus juice), herbs, spices, and seasonings.
What is another name for eye round steak?
Eye round steak goes by several alternative names, including eye or round, round steak, bottom round steak, London Broil, breakfast steak, wafer steak, and sandwich steak.
What is the difference between round eye and ribeye steak?
Round eye and ribeye steak are two distinct cuts with the most notable difference in location. While the round eye steak comes from the round primal, the ribeye is cut from the rib primal.
Is eye round steak fatty?
Eye round steak is not considered a fatty cut of beef. It is known for being quite lean. The lack of visible fat marbling within the muscle makes eye round steak lean compared to cuts like ribeye or T-bone steaks, which have a higher fat content and more marbling.
Is eye round steak tender?
Eye round steak is not typically considered a tender cut of beef. It is a lean and relatively tough cut that comes from the round primal of the cow, which is a well-exercised muscle. Because of its leanness and lack of fat marbling, eye round steak can be less tender compared to more expensive cuts like ribeye or tenderloin.
- Wikipedia – Round steak – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Round_steak
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