If honest conversations about food should be had, there is an indisputable truth. Meat has gotten more expensive. The truth is that sometimes every penny counts, especially when trying to keep people happy and fed.
So, culinary detectives have set out into the marketplace to figure out how to keep access to meat proteins that don’t keep breaking the bank – even if that means using a few tricks to make sure that meat-centric dinners stay at a spectacular best.
If beef is one of your go-to meats, you may have noticed that certain cuts have skyrocketed in price. Actually, all beef prices have been on the rise, but the most coveted cuts are just unapproachably expensive.
So, you start to investigate. Some of those beef cuts are more affordable, such as top round steak. The next question you may have is why that is so.
What is it and what is top round steak good for? These are very good questions and there’s never been a better time to explore those answers.
Meals That Top Round Steak Is Good For
When you looking to cook top round steak, make sure to go for the long game during cooking. You want to use the “breakdown” techniques to render a juicy and tender cut of beef. Some of the recipes you can pull off with optimal results are:
Round Steak and Mushrooms
Few food marriages are as perfect as round steak paired with mushrooms. Both steak and mushroom flavors perfectly complement the other.
Meals like this have a steak house dinner feel. So, it would be nice to include a nice side of mashed potatoes and creamed spinach to round this steak recipe out.
Break out those egg noodles and get ready to whip up a meal that is incomparable in taste and flavor.
Using top round steak as your beef base for a hearty stroganoff is a smart choice. Stroganoff is a stretching dish, feeding a few plates by one cook. It’s also delicious and savory.
Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
Go East and experience the sumptuous Asian flavors that round roast beef and broccoli can grace your dinner plate.
Pairing the top round steak into beef strips, dredging in flour for a quick future sear gives you the meat base for the meal. Pour into the slow cooker and adding broccoli florets with some seasonings will give you a restaurant-worthy dish of perfection.
This meal is sort of old school but also tried and true – and super delicious round steak recipe! Grab those bell peppers and onions and slice them down.
Prepare some chicken broth and slice that top round steak into strips. Some salt here and a little bit of pepper there, combine it all to produce a classic dish that never disappoints the taste buds.
Simple Stir Fry
For this, you want to get the top round steak cut as thin as possible. Think 1-inch thick with as many strips as you can get out of one pound of beef. Gather vegetables you want, like snow peas, carrots, broccoli, and bell peppers together.
Put the veggies together while combining strips of beef with minced garlic. Cook your vegetables, and put them aside. Cook your beef and garlic (onions if your using).
Add the vegetables back in and finish the dish. The beef should be tender and flavor should be amazing.
Is Top Round Steak Any Good?
If the cattle that the top round comes from is good and viable, then the top round steak cut that is drawn from it should be good. The top round is a portion cut that comes from the primal round cut of cattle.
The truth is pretty basic here: if the cattle meat is good, then any cut coming from it should also be fantastic, and that includes a top round steak cut.
The top round is drawn from the upper cut of a cattle’s hind quarters. It’s important to know that any type of cow’s meat is tender or tough based on where the part of the meat comes from the cattle.
If it’s from an area that is highly muscular (i.e. in constant motion like the legs), that meat will naturally be tougher than in an area that is less movement-based.
Is A Top Round Steak Tender?
Initially, top round steak is not a naturally tender cut of beef. As mentioned before, it comes from an area of the cattle that is muscular. However, it does not mean that it cannot be converted into tender meat.
Beef is a very forgiving type of meat because it can be manipulated like other types of meat cannot.
For instance, you can cook and serve beef at lower temperatures than other types of meat without it making people suffer from food sickness.
That’s where beef gets the ability to be served at different levels of rareness without making people sick.
This is also where the ability to render tough beef cuts comes in. Beef can be meat that is cooked low and slow, especially when the initial cut is on the tough side.
The nice thing about that is tough meat – which top round steak is considered to be – can be turned into succulent goodness and tenderness.
How Do You Make Top Round Steak Tender?
There are multiple ways to make top round steak a more tender cut of beef. These methods involve marination, pressure, and long cooking.
You can try the following ways to tenderize tougher cuts of beef, including top round steak.
You can use a meat mallet or meat tenderizer to make a tenderized round steak. The thicker the round steak beef is, the more you will want to give it a few (more than a few) good whacks to flatten the meat and ensure that those tough connective tissues are broken down to the point of wanted tenderness (such as for a milanesa).
Certain types of oil and acids are excellent for breaking tough proteins in beef down to the point where the beef becomes tender.
You can use things like vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil to help tenderize top round cuts and make the beef a lot more tender.
You can always give the top round steak a good salting a few hours before cooking it. The more salt you use, the less you want to let it sit.
A salt meat bath can go for a couple of hours, but make sure you rinse it off before cooking the top round meat.
Long and slow cooking is often the key to turning tough pieces of meat into tender cuts of perfection. You can roast, slow cook, or braise top round steak to achieve this goal.
You could also try searing flour-dredged beef cuts for a few minutes on each side before cooking them on a liquid base.
You could also try the closed-oven method where you roast the beef at a high temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, lower the temperature and cook for another 45 minutes to an hour.
Basically, pressure, acid, salt, and slow-and-low cooking are your friends when it comes to tenderizing top round steak cuts.
Can You Cook Top Round Like A Steak?
Of course, you can cook top round like a steak, if the cut has been adequately prepped for tenderization.
You already know that the top round is not a naturally tender cut and that it needs some assistance to get to a tender point. So, if you’re going to want it to be cookable like a steak, you need to prepare it to be tender enough to cook like a steak.
The top round is actually a well-known cut of beef for cooking the famous London Broil. Flash seared and completed in an oven, London Broil is one of the tastiest beef meals on the planet and it’s all thanks to the top round.
London broil needs a hefty marinade before it hits that oil and gathers a nice sear. After, the slow cook seals the deal. However, there are other types of dishes that top round is the perfect beef for using.