Test Driving: Eye of Round Roast

Beef Recipe Eye of Round Roast

Eye of Round Roast

I am in a grass-fed meat share right now, which means one gets beef cuts one would not normally buy.  (I tend to be partial to the flank, skirt and flat iron steaks — rib eye if I felt that it were cost-effective.  Oh, and short ribs and shank and brisket, now that I know how to cook the latter.)

I blew it on the top round roast, so I am hoping for better luck on the eye.  This recipe looks good:  Perfect Eye of Round Roast, posted by Russ at The Domestic Man.  AND it is totally different than the one I checked out elsewhere for the top round roast, which was supposed to provide a nice medium-rare roast beef I could slice and eat cold during the week.  Instead, that one ended up just slightly pink in the center, and I had to cook up the outer part by chopping it up and doing a saute with Jalfreezi stir fry sauce, which gave it back some moisture.

Anyhow, The Domestic Man has you put the Eye of Round into a 500 degree F oven, cook there 7 minutes per pound, then turn the oven (if it is electric) off for 2.5 hours without opening the door.  For gas ovens he recommends putting the oven at its lowest setting possible after the 7 minute per pound heat blast, and checking it at 2 hours. Evidently most gas ovens cool down faster than electric.

He has a rub recipe using ground pepper, minced garlic, Kosher salt, and dried thyme.

Reading the commentary below his recipe, and scratching my personal (nearly gluten-free) noodle, this is what I did:

1 Eye of Round (mine was 2 pounds of grass-finished)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1-1.5 teaspoon ground pepper (I used Trader Joe’s rainbow peppercorn variety)
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon, heaping, of dried thyme
Perhaps two teaspoons of olive oil (if using)

I used the oil because this is a pretty lean cut of meat and it is grass-finished.  It is definitely not necessary for grain-finished beef, but as another positive, it did help the herbs and spices to adhere to the meat.

Rub down the meat with the oil if using.  Use your hands.

Mix up the herbs and spices separately.

Apply the herbs and spices to all sides of the meat, using your hands.  Good cooking requires getting dirty sometimes.  Allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Heat your oven to 500 degrees F.  The meat can marinate during this heating time.

Place the meat in a roasting pan, on the surface of the pan, not in a rack.  Fat side up, if you have the option — the fat on mine was kinda on the edge, so I picked the side that seemed optimal.  (Optionally, you can add sweet potatoes or other of the thicker root veggies (ie, turnips, celeriac) at the same time.  I’d peel and cube them to 1 – 2 inch cubes, depending on the hardness of the veggie at hand, although sweet potatoes generally do not need to be peeled beyond getting rid of bad spots.  Anyhow, treat them the same way as the meat, with the rubdowns.)

Some people at The Domestic Man’s site used 5 minutes of high heat per pound of meat, for grass-fed.  Others were fine with seven.  I compromised at 6 minutes per pound.

Recommendations from the site and the comment thread:

After the high temp roasting:

Electric:  Turn OFF the heat for 2.5 hours.
Gas:  Turn down the heat to lowest setting for 2 hours, and check; cook more if you need to.
Me:  I have an electric range, but it is probably at least 30 years old.  It was OLD when I moved here 21 years ago.  It doesn’t even have a clock.  It has no tightly-sealed self-cleaning amenities.  SOoooo… I turned it down to minimum for an hour and a half (probably about 150 F, or possibly less, but this thing isn’t all that accurate, either), then I turned it off for the final half hour.

PS:  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR DURING ANY OF THIS, UNTIL THE INSTRUCTIONS ALLOW IT.  You’ll defeat the purpose behind this exercise.  It is tempting, I know.

Notes: One half hour after dropping temp to 150ish F:  the oven temp was reading 250 degrees F (which knowing this oven I will assume was closer to 225 degrees F).
45 minutes after – it read 200 degrees (175ish?)
Around 53 minutes after – the oven clicked on.  Which means that it had dropped to the currently set temp of 150ish.
I put these notes in here so people can have a way of fine-tuning their own oven parameters.

Also:  when setting the initial high temp of 500 F, I did move the dial over a little further, in hopes that the oven would really be doing 500 F.  Probably was close enough, judging from past veggie roasting events which also occur at a high temp.

At the end, Russ recommends using a meat thermometer.  Being as mine is worse with the temperature scale than my oven, I did not so do.

Verdict:  Excellent!  The garlic/pepper/salt/thyme mixture was wonderful, nicely crunchy and flavorful.  I did use a bare amount of prepared horseradish while eating.  This should make 3-4 meals, depending on the sides you have.  I opted for salad, but next time (and there will be a next time) I will do some roast veggies alongside.

Go check out Russ’s page at The Domestic Man (link at top of post), to see some really nice photos.

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6 Responses to Test Driving: Eye of Round Roast

  1. Looks great, glad you liked the recipe! Nice picture, too.

  2. I’m so glad you tried this! I’ve been wanting to experiment with this recipe from Russ myself, so good to know you had success.

  3. It was superbly worth it! I will have slices of the leftovers with my salads during the week. I look forward to another eye of round — at least now I know there’s a tender path forward for it.

  4. Tamara Lang says:

    Hi I am a livestock producer and I produce beef for a local market. I sell by the cut. I have found that the best use of the round is Beef Jerky. I used to have round roasts as a left over cut but now it is the first thing I sell out of and I never get any for myself.

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