Today we will look at how to cook beef eye of round steak. This recipe is incredibly easy and loaded with many delicious, hearty flavors.
I will take you through everything you need about this unique and underrated cut. From exactly what it is, how to best cook it, and how to get it beautifully tender and juicy – we will explore it all!
What Is An Eye Of Round Steaks?
Before looking at how to cook beef eye-round steak, let’s first talk about this underrated cut.
A round-cut beef steak is a cut that comes from the rump and back legs of the cow. It is a highly lean cut because of how much the animal uses it. This also means that, generally, the round cut is less tender. Round cuts are sold as either steaks or roasts.
A round steak usually consists of three parts: the top round, the bottom round, and the eye of the round.
The beef “eye” is the smallest part of the three and is often said to be the most tender. But keep in mind that it’s relative to outer non-tender cuts. Please take a look at my article discussing what part of the cow is brisket.
- Beef Round-Eye Steaks: These are the star of the dish, providing a lean and flavorful cut of beef.
- Olive Oil: Used for searing and cooking, it adds depth to the flavors.
- Sea Salt Flakes and Black Pepper: Essential for seasoning and enhancing the taste of the meat.
- Onion, Carrot, Garlic: These aromatic vegetables form the base of the braised beef, adding richness and flavor.
- Tomato Paste: Adds depth and richness to the braising liquid.
- Mushrooms: If desired, these can add a meaty texture and earthy flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour: Employed to make a roux which densifies the sauce.
- Beef Stock or Broth: Provides a savory base for the braising liquid.
- Diced or Crushed Tomatoes: Adds a rich tomato flavor and body to the sauce.
- Bay Leaves, Spices, and Herbs: These impart aromatic notes to the dish.
- Green Peas and Corn Kernels: Add color, texture, and a touch of sweetness to the dish.
These ingredients come together to create a tender, flavorful, and comforting Beef Eye Of Round Steak dish that’s perfect for any occasion.
How To Cook Beef Eye Of Round Steak
Prepare the Beef Eye of Round Steaks:
- Pat the steaks dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high flame.
3. Cook steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
4. Remove from heat, drain excess oil on a paper towel, and set aside.
Make the Flavoring Base:
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add diced onions and carrots, sauté until onions are translucent.
3. Stir in minced garlic and tomato paste, fry for a minute.
4. Add mushrooms and mix well.
5. Sprinkle flour over ingredients, stir to coat evenly.
6. Stir in beef stock, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, a little salt, and pepper.
Cook the Braised Beef Eye of Round Steak:
- Bring mixture to a rolling boil, then lower heat and add the beef and cover.
- Cook over low heat for 1 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
- Stir in peas and corn, and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper.
- Serve with plenty of sauce.
Cooking Techniques for Eye of Round Steak
As I have mentioned, the eye of a round steak isn’t a very tender and juicy cut. So, this limits how you should cook them.
If you use high or dry heat, the meat will become tough and chewy in texture.
The beef eye is best cooked using low temperatures and braising liquids. They should preferably cook for long periods to help make the protein more tender and juicier. Take a look at this interesting article about the best temperature to cook steaks on a pellet grill.
While these cooking methods are generally very time-consuming, they are at least not labor-intensive. Let the base and meat simmer for hours once the base and meat are on the heat. You only need to check the progress every 30-60 minutes.
So, what cooking methods are we looking at for how to cook the eye of round steak?
Braising is a fantastic low-temperature cooking method for the beef eye of round steaks. This technique involves partially covering the meat in liquid (usually seasoned). It works best for large pieces like round-eye steaks or round-eye roasts.
The tough connective tissue slowly breaks down and makes the meat more tender. It also allows the meat proteins to absorb juices (and therefore flavor), making this cut quite tasty once it has finished cooking.
Braising works with low temperatures of around 200 degrees. You have to cover your cooking vessel to prevent excess moisture from escaping. And what makes this technique great is that you can braise meat on the stovetop or inside the oven.
Now, What About Stewing?
Stewing is very similar to braising. The main difference is that it uses more liquid and smaller pieces of meat. So, you won’t use a large beef eye round roast for stewing. You will likely cut it into smaller cubes before stewing the meat.
It works in the same way as braising does. It’s just a different cut of meat.
Cooking Methods To Stay Away From
There are other wet cooking methods you may be tempted to use, including boiling, simmering, steaming, and poaching. Unfortunately, none of these are “low and slow” cooking techniques, and some don’t create flavorful cuts.
Then, you also have to steer clear of dry cooking methods completely. That includes broiling, grilling, roasting, baking, and sauteing. These will only make the meat tough and even drier.
Tips And Tricks – How To Cook Beef Eye Of Round Steak
- Many people don’t brown their meat before slowly cooking it. That seems to be an especially common practice for a recipe with the eye of round steak. But do not skip this step! It helps add a ton of savory, meaty flavors to the flavored liquid. And it adds some texture to the meat itself.
- You can leave the braised beef to cook on the stovetop (like in this recipe) or in an oven. Leave it to braise at 250 degrees in the oven for several hours.
- The exact cooking time isn’t set in stone. I recommend cooking this braised beef eye-round steak recipe for at least 1 1/2 hours. The meat should be very tender by then. But, the longer you cook the meat, the softer the beef cut will become. Don’t worry. It is hard to overcook the meat if you check the progress every 30 minutes.
I love serving this braised beef recipe with a fresh salad. This Cucumber And Onion Salad and Vegan Peach Salad are great nutritious options. However, you can also serve it with some Homemade Garlic Bread.
You can use a meat tenderizer to help soften the protein. This is the quickest and easiest method to use. However, you can also marinate it for several hours, even days.
How To Cook Beef Eye Of Round Steak (Best Guide) With Recipe
For the eye of round steaks
- 6-8 beef round-eye steaks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt flakes, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the braised beef base
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups mushrooms (of your choice), cut into large chunks (if needed)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef stock or broth, low sodium if possible
- 14 ounces (1 can) diced or curshed tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1-2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
Prepare the beef eye of the round steaks
- First, pat the steaks dry with paper towel. Then, season them with salt and pepper to taste on both sides.
- Warm a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high flame.
- Add the eye of round steak and leave it to cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until it has become beautifully browned.
- Turn it over and cook it on the other side for another 3-4 minutes.
- Once browned (they don't have to be cooked), remove them from the heat and drain the excess oil on paper towel. Keep them aside until required later on.
Make the flavoring base
- To start, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the diced onions and carrots. Leave them to sweat for a couple of minutes or until the onions have become translucent.
- Next, add the minced garlic and tomato paste. Mix them in well and allow the garlic to fry for a minute.
- Then, add the mushrooms. Mix them well so that all of these flavors are evenly distributed.
- Dust the ingredients in the pot with the flour. Stir it in well so that they are all coated.
- Stir in the beef stock (or broth), crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, half the sea salt flakes, and half the black pepper. Make sure you mix all of the ingredients very well.
Leave your braised beef eye of the round steak recipe to cook
- Bring your mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
- Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to the minimum. Seal the pot with a lid or an aluminum foil sheet.
- Leave the braising beef to cook over low heat for about 1 1/2 to 3 hours. The exact cooking time depends on how tender and juicy you want the meat to be.
- Stir the ingredients every 30 minutes to help blend the flavors together while preventing the bottom ingredients from sticking (burning).
- Once you are happy with the texture of the meat, add the peas and corn. Allow them to simmer for roughly 5 minutes.
- Then, adjust the seasoning with some more salt and pepper.
- Finally, serve your delicious braised eye of round steaks with a generous amount of sauce.