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Apr 8, 2010 05:46 PM

Can I turn a beef round roast into round steaks?

I've always wondered this when I see roasts go on sale...
If I buy a roast (ie: eye of round) and take it home and portion it into steak-like slices...are those cuts the same as round steaks, or are the shop-bought steaks somehow different?

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  1. Same thing. Except it's often more economical to slice them yourself if you have a steady hand and a very good knife.

    1. Most shops will cut it into steaks for you at no extra cost if you are buying the whole roast.

      1. Eye of round roast is a lean piece of meat, rather tough, best roasted just to medium rare or less and sliced thinly. Serve it with a nice sauce. The round steaks you see at the market, often labeled London Broil and cut thickly, are usually from the top round, not the eye of round roast. The round (top, bottom) comes from the leg so it's muscle that is "worked" and will be tough. The eye of round roast is a smaller, tube shaped, 3 to 5 lb roast.

        London Broil is also another supermarket label for flank steak; don't confuse flank with top round. Flank steak is not bad, just a different cut, although it benefits from the same cooking treatment as a round steak.

        A whole round steak is cut from the eye, top and bottom rounds, all connected. Often this is tenderized and used for Swiss steak or other braised dishes.

        You can buy a split top round, weighing about 4-5 lbs, as whole tops are rather large, and cut it into 2 inch thick slices for steaks. The split tops sometimes come tied for roasting.

        I season top round steaks well, grill or pan fry to medium rare, rest briefly and slice on the bias, which is across the grain, for steak salads, sandwiches, things like that. It's not a tender cut but sliced very thinly, it's perfectly acceptable and with quite good flavor, three stars out of a possible five for beef cuts. Marinating your top round steaks before grilling won't hurt, either.

        You friendly neighborhood butcher may be happy to cut your top into the desired thickness for no extra cost. You will save money by purchasing a larger roast and cutting it yourself, however, rather than by purchasing a London Broil or top round steak, however it's called at your market.

        So get yourself a split top, or a whole one if you can use it, as you can freeze it, cut it into steaks and save yourself some $$.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Thank you x3 hounds! I just found a recipe that calls for marinating your steak while it's resting after it's been cooked, which is something I've never tried. The recipe suggests a rump steak (I googled to find that rump steak = round steak) and I'm interested in finding out how a post-cook marinade will turn out. I'll check my local butcher for split top and see what else they have available. I really need to familiarize myself more with cuts of meat and where they come from - thanks so much for the head start!

          1. re: lfiske29

            Marinating after cooking, interesting. Can you possibly post the recipe or a synopsis of it? I'm curious; although the cut has been cooked, still has some ability to absorb flavors, but how much is a question, as well as the time involved for hte marinade to be absorbed.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              I know!! I just picked up Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Express" book from the library. Unexpected car expenses has pulled my grocery budget waaay back. What was once a joyous carload of glorious foodstuffs for weekend chopping and simmering has become "what is cheap but can still taste good?" Anyway, I digress. I saw this recipe in her book and my curiosity has gotten the better of me. Here's the recipe on her website, though the book has [most] everything stated in units of measurement we're more accustomed to here stateside. "Steak Slice with Lemon and Thyme"

              1. re: lfiske29

                Yup, sounds good, easy and tasty, more like a viniagrette for the steak than a marinade, as I think of it. I think your round steak will be very nice this way, just don't overcook. Hopefully you like rare to medium rare meat.

                "what is cheap but can still taste good?" This is my life also, which Is tough in NY, where food is pretty pricey, although good deals and good meals are out there, just have to work at it a little harder.