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Using Eye of Round for Chili

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I received an eye of round roast as part of a my beef csa. This is not my favorite cut and was wondering how this would be ground and used in a chili recipe? Let me know if you think this would be good.

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  1. Eye round is not a cut of meat I enjoy. Even with the cook's Illustrated slow roast method, I just find it very dry and lacking any beef flavor since it's so lean for a beef cut. There's no question you could use it for chili, but I believe it it's better suited for a roast beef, sliced thin on some good bread, served with some au jus for a french dip sandwich

    It will give you the textural component for chili, but I suspect it might not give you the most beefy flavor like regular ground chuck would with the natural fat in the meat.

    5 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      thanks, we arent big sandwich eaters and I hate to see it go to waste. We arent big chili eaters for that matter but I was planning to bring it to an office lunch/potluck thing.

      1. re: cassoulady

        I like to pressure cook my meat when making chili, it helps them shred up nicely. 20 minutes to a half hour, with some beer or beef broth, or whatever liquids you would normally use in the dish.

        1. re: coll

          Pressure cooking eye of round is the WORST idea! It has no fat and will completely dry out and be inedible.

        2. re: cassoulady

          Just a thought.....most people do not slow roast at low temperatures.....instead, they probably cook this cut of meat around 325-350* and that's not the best way to have this cut prepared. The higher roasting temperature cooks the meat unevenly and the result is tough meat, not tender. The process outlined by Cook's Illustrated to pre-salt a day in advance and slow roast has won over many.....even I will admit that the meat comes out tender. anyone who has never had this cut of meat slow roasted will be impressed with the tenderness of the slow roasted, low temperature (225*) method and results. Tender meat and every piece looks exactly the same. I would recommend medium-rare, but you could even stretch it closer to medium and it would still be good. The slow roasted method naturally breaks down the meat and concentrates the flavor of the beef.

          If you have a sharp knife and good knife skills, a platter a beautiful pink beef, attractively fanned out is very impressive at any gathering. I'm sure you make a great chili, and I like chili very much....but I associate chili as something for a sports party gathering.....a platter of good looking beef, garnished with some nice accouterments just seems more special....for any occasion.

          1. re: fourunder

            I did one of these using the CI slow roast last weekend after finding one at a great price. I'd still agree with fourunder. It's not a very beefy tasting cut. It was GOOD, I'd just not use it in chili. It seemed to be better suited rare-med rare sliced wafer thin.

      2. I'd take care to cut it into small pieces before cooking, trying where possible to cut across the grain. This will keep the meat fibers short, and minimize that dry and stringy character.

        1. I've used eye of round for chili many times and it works fine.

          Cut into 3/4" cubes. Because it's so lean, I usually brown the meat in bacon fat.

          That little bit of bacon fat makes a big difference in the final product.

          However, having just replied on another thread about having used an eye of round to make a beef on weck, I'm kinda jonesin' for that right now.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DoobieWah

            If you want chili then I agree...Small diced cubes, or whatever...Brown in bacon fat, and build your chili from there.........

            Enjoy!!

          2. Because it's a lean cut with little fat or collagen, it won't hold up well in chili. It will toughen up after overcooking (you can't make medium-rare cubes in your chili), and dry out. Also, as others have noted, very little beef flavor.

            7 Replies
            1. re: sbp

              Any other ideas on how to best use this cut?

              1. re: cassoulady

                It's getting to be a bit past burger season now, at least around here, but eye of round mixed with pork shoulder (roughly a 1:1 ratio) - season the chunks well and grind them together - makes pretty decent burger.

                1. re: Krislady

                  When is it ever past burger season?

                  1. re: John E.

                    Well, you know, when we have to drag the snow shovels around to the deck and dig a path from the back door to the grill, we usually only likes to do that for our New Year's Eve grilled ribeye.

                    1. re: Krislady

                      I was attempting humor, but our grill is under the deck/porch so we can grill all year long. I will say that it doesn't get fired up at minus 5.

                      1. re: John E.

                        Oh, I know!

                        Ours is only a few steps away from the door, too. The biggest problem is opening the sliding glass door when there's 3 feet of snow piled against it. . . though I have been known to brave it to salvage whatever's left in the herb garden. :)

                2. re: cassoulady

                  Maybe a Chinese stir fry. Slice raw meat into very thin strips, sear quickly over scorching skillet/wok. Take out as soon as the pink appears on the surface. Then do your vegetables, sauce, add meat back at last second so it doesn't get too overcooked.

                  It's a tough cut to do as anything much more than roast/sandwiches.

              2. I actually do use eye round or a similarly lean cut in my chili, but as a last minute addition. I make chili the usual way, with fatty ground meat, etc, and let it cook for a few hours. When I'm almost ready to serve, I take 1/2" thick "steaks" cut from an eye of round (or whatever other cheapy cut I have around) and sear them quickly, then cut them into 1/2" cubes and add them to the chili, and serve right away. They add a nice textural contrast to the ground meat and because they're cooked rare and cut smallish, they're not tough.

                1. It is not bad in Pho Tai. Freeze it slightly and cut it as thin as you can. Put the raw slices into steaming hot pho broth. When the pink color is light enough for you eat and enjoy.

                  Chuck is for chili, not round.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: CDouglas

                    Right, Pho Tai. Good suggestion.

                    1. re: sbp

                      But how much of this do you use? A couple of slices per bowl is the typical restaurant portion. The broth itself is made with cuts that provide more body (e.g. tendon).

                      1. re: paulj

                        I'm not thinking in terms of using the whole roast for pho, or stir fry, for that matter. Too much meat for one application.

                        But if I was making my own pho, I'd throw in a heck of a lot more meat than I get at a typical Viet resto.

                  2. It's an acceptable cut for chili, but coarse ground only. Not cubed!

                    1. I've minced up high-quality eye of round raw for tartare.

                      If you do try it in chili, let us know how it turns out....

                      1. I know everyone talks about slow cooking it, but I cut it into steaks and throw it in a really hot skillet for a quick steak au poivre, seared on both sides, still moist in the middle, a little brandy a little cream. I know it is not a really fine strong beef taste like a ribeye or a strip steak would give, but with a solid sauce and plenty of pepper I feel like I can use the cream unstintingly and still not have as much fat intake as with a ribeye. Also, it is nice cut very thin and re-cooked for cheesesteaks or into a Szechuan orange beef. It is definitely a cut that benefits from not being the main taste. For chili I go for 1" cubes of brisket browned in bacon fat.

                        1. I have decided to use it Sat for chili. will report back. I am likely going to also grind something fattier with it so we shall see how it goes.

                          1. Curry. Long slow cooking. Shove it in the fridge overnight and then loll around all the next day when you would normally be scurrying in the kitchen knowing beef curry is waiting to be popped on the stove for a quick reheat.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                              That's a great thought.

                              Or maybe a beef rendang.

                              I may have to do that this weekend.