An eye of round steak is a small round, boneless beef steak. It falls under the category of “economical cuts of beef”, and for that reason is often overlooked by beef fans, which is unfortunate as it is also one of the tastier cuts of beef. Use it for braising, stir fries, chicken fried steak, pressure cooking, etc.
The steak is essentially a slice from an eye of round roast. It will generally have a layer of fat on two of the sides, but very little if any marbling throughout the meat. Its leanness makes it popular with many dieters. There will also be no gristle or sinew, which makes it popular with children, teenagers and picky-eaters.
See also main entry for “beef round.”
Leave the fat on for cooking; this meat needs all the help it can get to stop it drying out during cooking. If any fat remains after cooking, you can trim it off after if desired.
Generally, moist, long, low and slow cooking methods are recommended for eye of round steaks, as they are the safest for most people to use.
However, more experienced hands can cook them in other ways:
- cut into thin, narrow strips and use for stir-fry;
- chop up finely and use for steak tartare or other raw-beef dishes;
- pound thinly, then bread, then either pan-fry or deep-fry (thus making Chicken Fried Steak);
- pound to tenderize, dredge in flour and brown, then braise with onions, mushrooms and other vegetables (thus making Swiss Steak).
Pressure cooking is a good way to get the benefit of both quick cooking time, and the low and slow flavour. Brown the steak first (optional: dredge first.) Add about a cup of liquid in total (wine, broth, tinned tomatoes and their juice, etc) and pressure cook on high for about 15 minutes, letting pressure drop naturally at the end. (Check your pressure cooker manual for any minimum liquid levels, etc.) Of course, you’ll probably want to add other things such as onion, mushroom, garlic, spices and herbs, etc. (Add some potatoes, carrots, turnip, etc for a complete one-pot meal.) After cooking, remove the solid items with a strainer spoon or flipper, and quickly make a gravy from the pot juices.