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Apr 2, 2009 08:11 AM

Results - Eye of Round Roast from Cook's Illustrated Recipe

I wanted to pass on a recommendation for the America's Test Kitchen recipe for roasted eye-of-round. I made it a few days ago and it was fantastic.

The recipe calls for pre-salting the roast for 24 hours, searing it, then cooking it in a 225 degree oven. The results were great. The meat was very tender, tasty and the slow cooking allowed it to be cooked rare/medium rare all the way through, with almost no outer gray layer.

The recipe certainly took time but was idle time. All in, it took about 2 hours for a 2 1/2 lb roast (bought for about $12 in NY).

First I seared it in a cast iron skillet for about 10 minutes. Then it took about 1 to 1 1/4 hours in a 225 degree oven to reach 115 degrees. You then turn the oven off and let the temp rise to 125 for rare/medium rare which took another 20 or so minutes. The only thing I varied from the recipe was using less salt. I used 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, mainly due to me misreading the recipe but it seemed to work out fine and the salt really tenderized and added lots of flavor to the meat. After cooking I carved (or tried) thin slices using a Chef's knife. I put the leftover, uncut, piece into the tupperware and make roast beef sandwiches the next day. This time I used an electric knife which made quick work, and very thin, slices. A highly recommended recipe for turning a really inexpensive roast into a great roast beef.

FYI - i also made the horseradish cream sauce to go along with it.

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  1. Thanks for sharing that. I'll definitely try it. I don't have access to CI online but you've given plenty of detail. How much salt do THEY call for? This is a cut that my mother used to prepare that was always well done and never very good so I always walk right by them in the store. I'll pick one up next time on special.

    5 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      I'm with c oliver in that I never get a good impression when I think of Round roast. Personally, I'd just make a chuck roast. At $3-4 a pound, it's pretty hard to pass up.

      Still, I might give this one a go (if I can find the full recipe).

      1. re: c oliver

        The recipe online is from America's Test Kitchen, so you should only need to register with an email address, no subscription or trial.

        For a 3 1/2- 4 1/2 lb roast, they suggested 4 tsp of kosher salt and for a 2-2 1/2 lb roast 3 tsp. They give a conversion to table salt of 1 1/2 tsp and in my quick glance, I accidentally used the 1 1/2 tsp even though I use kosher salt.

        To paraphrase the rest of the recipe;

        1. Salt the roast, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate 18-24 hours.
        2. Pat dry the roast, rub with 2 tsp of vegetable oil (i used olive oil) and some freshly cracked pepper. Sear in hot skillet on all sides. This took me about 3 minutes per side in a hot cast iron skillet so it was deeply brown.
        3. Add to wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and put in preheated 225 degree oven. Roast until thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 115 degrees for medium-rare, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours, or 125 degrees for medium, 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours. Since my roast was smaller and i like my meat closer to rare, I took it out at 112 degrees which took about an hour.
        4. Turn oven off, leave roast in oven, without opening door, until meat-probe thermometer or instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 130 degrees for medium-rare or 140 degrees for medium, 30 to 50 minutes longer. As I said, I took it out at 125 degrees which took about 20 minutes.
        5. Rest for 15 min and slice thinly. Since I dont have a carving knife, I used an electric knife which worked perfectly.

        This was my first attempt at using an eye of round roast. I had walked by it for years and was always curious but never bought it. I was skeptical using such a (relatively) inexpensive roast until I saw the episode of ATK. But it turned out beautifully, was a breeze to cook, taking nothing but time. Plus, the size, shape and uniformity made cooking and carving easy. Plus leftovers make great sandwiches!!!

        1. re: ESNY

          Cool. I guess it's CI online that you have to pay for. I just signed up. Bless your heart for now TWO good deeds today :)

          1. re: ESNY

            Thanks, ESNY, so much for intelligent, clear instructions on how to cook a spoon roast to a rare, tender, mouthwateringly delicious roast of beef. I did exactly as you suggested (feeling a bond as I recognized a cook who prefers rare to medium here and uses a good old black iron skillet to brown the roast))) and my 3 lb spoon roast was awesome, perfect. I used 4 level teaspoons of kosher salt to salt the roast, and I added to that salt some crushed, fresh rosemary and some onion powder for flavor. Also studded the roast with slices of garlic before I salted the roast. The one thing I puzzled over was how to take the temp of the roast with my Thermapen instant-read thermometer without opening the oven door. I ended up using exactly your times for my 3-pounder (one hour at 225 degrees, test, - it was exactly 112 degrees - return to turned-off oven for additional 20 minutes - retest: bingo: 125 degrees!) and I took the temp as quickly as I could, with the roast out of the oven, keeping the oven door open only for a split second to keep heat in. This modest little roast, cooked per your directions, turned out every bit as delicious as a much more expensive cut of beef roast. Mille grazie!!!! Payback is my sharing this special recipe from my snooty aunt for Foolproof Rare Roast Beef. for a standing rib roast. I've used it many times, and it always works:
            Rub salt and pepper into 2- 3- or 4-rib roast right out of the fridge, and put it into a preheated 375 degree oven for exactly one hour. Turn off the oven, but do not open oven door. This may be done hours ahead. Leave the roast in there and leave the door closed. Step 2: Before serving, set oven at 300 degrees and reheat 2 ribs for 22 minutes, 3 ribs for 25-30 minutes, 4 ribs for 35 minutes. I know it sounds too simple to be true, but it works every time for rare roast beef. You do not brown the roast first. It is evenly cooked out to the edges, and the outside is crisp-ish and brown. Of course, I stud the roast generously with slivers of garlic.
            My son cooked a whole shoulder of pork (22 lbs) at 375 immediately lowered to 185 for 24 hours, but that's another story...)))

          2. re: c oliver

            I'll try that, often I get a chuck roast and cook until tender but that sounds great. Have to do it on a day when I'm off sounds easy enough. Not much too it. Thx

          3. I have only heard good things about this recipe. I really don't like eye or round but would be willing to try this is the price wasn't so high on this cut of meat. Thanks for posting your results

            1. I, too, think that this is a super recipe. While the roast is cooking, I like to simmer sown equal parts red wine, Madeira, and beef broth, with a chopped shallot and a sprig of Rosemary. Strain when nice and syrupy, and serve with the roast.

              1. I made this today and it came out fantastic. I used a black angus eye of the round. It was tender, juicy and flavorful.

                1. That sounds great. Thank you.

                  Please does anyone know what equivalent cut I should get in the UK for this? I'm thinking Topside or Top Rump.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Robin Joy

                    Eye of the round is the semitendinosous muscle, which is one of the muscles that contistutes the outside bottomw round. It's not part of the rump.

                    1. re: Robin Joy

                      The eye of round is a cut from the round steak section of a beef hind quarter.

                      A round steak actually has 3 different "cuts" in it that you can buy at the grocery store. The bottom round (which can be labeled a London Broil roast, the top round (usually a steak), and the eye of round (sold either as a roast or a steak).

                      Of the 3 parts of a round steak, the eye of round is the most tender. (BUT, it is NOT as tender as a rib eye)

                      Someone once told me it was also called silverside beef. I have no clue, but I had a friend who lived there for a few years and when she stayed with me and I went to the store I would often get a London Broil, she always called it silverside.

                      Rump is not part of this group and wouldn't work.

                      The round is the rear leg of the cow. A frequently used muscle, the meat from this area is lean but tough.
                      Bottom Round: One area is tougher than the other, and it's usually divided into two smaller cuts -- bottom round roast and rump roast (the end that comes to a point).
                      Bottom Round Roast: Roasts from the bottom round. A bit tough and best suited as corned beef or pot roast. This is called beef silverside in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
                      Eye Round Roast/Steak or Eye of the Round: A boneless roast that looks like tenderloin, but it is much tougher. Used as a roast or cut into steaks. Steaks cut from the roast are used in stews or processed into cube steak. Also called breakfast steak, wafer steak, sandiwch steak, minute steak.
                      London Broil: The name of the finished dish, not the cut of meat. Butchers will use the name London Broil for flank steak, top round steak or top blade steak.
                      Top Round Steak or Butterball Steak: Thick steaks from the top of the round. Usually broiled, braised or cooked in liquid.
                      Round Steak: Very lean, but not as tender and juicy as other cuts. Served broiled, braised or cooked in a liquid.
                      Round Tip Roast or Tip Roast or Sirloin Tip Roast or Tip Sirloin Roast: A cut away from the sirloin section, this roast is tender enough to be oven roasted or used as kabobs. When trimmed it's called a trimmed tip roast or ball tip roast.
                      Round Tip Steak: A steak cut from the untrimmed round tip roast.
                      Rump Roast: Cut from the bottom round. When the bone is left in, it is called a standing rump roast.
                      Top Round Roast: A lean and fairly tender cut as compared to the other cuts from the round.

                      1. re: kchurchill5

                        Thanks, that's a handy reference breakdown for cuts of beef. What book or website is it from?

                        1. re: greygarious

                          (Kitchen Dictionary: Beef Round Cuts
                          This is called beef silverside in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Eye Round Roast/Steak or Eye of the Round: A boneless roast that looks like ...


                          Difference between bottom round and top round (beef)
                          5 posts - 4 authors - Last post: Sep 12, 2006
                          This is called beef silverside in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Eye Round Roast/Steak or Eye of the Round: A boneless roast that looks ... Round Tip Steak: A steak cut from the untrimmed round tip roast. ...


                          I think these were it.
                          I usually mark those and should of copied and sent with the message but forgot. Hope this helps.

                          1. re: kchurchill5

                            Thank you for your efforts K, but I'm afraid I'm little the wiser, as London Broil or anything containing the word "round" are not terms used at all in the UK. Silverside sounds a possibility but my money would be on our Topside.

                            I understand that many US expressions are just as they were imported from here in the 17th and 18th centuries, and we are often the ones who have changed. Who said: "Divided by a common language"?!

                            Thanks again.

                            1. re: Robin Joy

                              My friend always mentioned silverside. I never said said london broil was anything close. I just gave the comparison chart if it helped.

                              Silverside I heard when he saw the cuts at the store that were similar to an eye round. That is why I offered it.

                              1. re: kchurchill5

                                "Silverside" is probably just a moniker for cheap cuts of meat but that's just a guess. "Silver" as in the silver skin that can often be on the outside of cheaper, tougher cuts.

                                1. re: Squirrels

                                  Gretchen's 4/6/09 link to the Wikipedia entry shows that it is similar to bottom round and does have silverskin.

                      2. re: Robin Joy

                        Hi Robin,

                        If you click on the link in ESNY's original post, and do the free registration to get to the recipe, there are pictures of what is and is not an eye round roast. They print off pretty well so you could take them to your butcher to see what it is called in Britain -- or even just use it to spot the thing at the supermarket. Although a look at this comparison of primal cuts in the US and UK makes me think that there may not be an exact equivalent.

                        1. re: GretchenS

                          Thank you G. Last night I salted and wrapped a piece of topside, which is probably the best of the cuts from the top bit of what you call the round (silverside is the same price but considered to be a little tougher)........Tonight I'll find out if it works!

                          1. re: Robin Joy

                            I've heard the Eye Round roast referred to as the Silver tip Roast. The link below takes you to a video on butchering. The eye round is the one between the Top Round and the Bottom Round......Topside/Silverside.