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Understanding Beef – The Round

Posted on: February 11th, 2013

Beef cuts can be confusing, some are great on the grill, some are better oven roasts, and others need slow braising to get tender. In previous blogs we talked about the Beef Loin and Rib, as well as the tasty cuts from the Beef Chuck, and today’s feature on the Beef Round completes the series.

Cuts from the Beef Round make some of the finest oven roasts, we call them the Baron of Beef.

The Beef Rounds

These cuts are the cow’s hind legs, and I think of them as the drivetrain of the animal, pushing it forward all day long – so they have to work pretty hard, which affects their tenderness…

Cuts from the round are very different from those in the Chuck, but fairly similar to those in the Loin and Rib; but will never be as tender and juicy because they have to work so hard. The muscles in the round are beef’s largest and leanest, making them perfect for deli-style Roast Beef cooked to medium rare, sliced paper thin and served with one of our Chef Sauces the first day, and on a sandwich with Swiss and Au Jus the next day.

This classic Round Steak is a cross section of the round, showing some of the best known cuts.

Cuts In The Beef Round

The main muscles in the round are the Top, Bottom and Eye of Round, as well as the Sirloin Tip.

The Top Round

This cut is the largest muscle in the round, and gristle-free when trimmed correctly. We use Top Rounds in our deli to make our amazing roast beef for slicing. Other popular ways to cut the Top Round are London Broil (thick marinated steaks for roasting and grilling), Swiss Steak (a thinner steak for stovetop braising), as well as Scaloppini or Roulade
(extra thin steaks for rolling around other ingredients, such as the recipe Involtini in Sugo).

Top Round

The Bottom Round

This cut has all the great flavor of the Top Round, but it’s not as big and has a slightly tighter grain. It makes a great roast beef, and some of the best Cube Steaks you’ll ever taste. At Tony’s we call Top or Bottom round roasts Baron of Beef.  If you are looking for the old fashion Rump Roast, ask for the smaller end of the bottom round (the rump end comes to a point, the heel end flattens out), some old recipes call for pot roasting (braising) these, but I think they taste infinitely better dry roasted.

Baron Of Beef Roast

The Sirloin Tip

This is a large cut that makes a tasty roast, despite the lines of gristle inside. It’s also nice sliced into chip steaks for Philly Cheesesteaks. We do not normally offer the Sirloin Tip.

Tony’s Deli Roast Beef

The Eye of Round

This is a nice looking, long, cylindrical cut, but honestly I just don’t think much of it. It’s the toughest cut on the round and something we do not normally offer at Tony’s. Occasionally folks will think they can pass it off as tenderloin since it is similar in shape – but don’t make that mistake, especially in front of company!

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