A small piece of beef bottom round brings lets you make a wide range of hearty dishes for a small family or a guest or two. Lean and fine-grained, bottom round is best cooked with moist heat, making it an ideal pot roast or stew. Its need for a long cooking time lets it infuse a one-dish meal with delicious flavor. Just under 2 pounds feeds four amply and six well.
The Quantity Quandary
Since a beef bottom round roast can ordinarily weigh between 3 and 4 pounds, many recipes specifically based on this cut of meat are based on that amount. You can search out a recipe tailored to the amount of meat you have or scale back an existing recipe. With a stew or one-dish recipe, scaling is not hard. If a recipe calls for 3 1/2 pounds of bottom round, you can halve the recipe to accommodate your near-2-pound roast. Divide quantities of major ingredients like vegetables in half, reduce liquids to half and choose a cooking pot in proportion to your new amount. Use a light hand with seasonings. If your original recipe, for example, suggests 2 to 3 cloves of garlic or 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder, use half of the lower amount to avoid overseasoning. Cooking time may be slightly less than with the larger recipe, but bottom round tolerates long cooking well.
Bottom Round Pot Roast
Bottom round makes a flavorful, lean pot roast. Braising liquids range from beef broth and tomato sauce to diluted, canned cream soups and wine. Allow approximately 2 hours of oven braising for meat to become fork-tender. Pot roast and sauce can be sliced and served together over noodles or rice. For a one-dish meal, add root vegetables like onions, potatoes and carrots for the second hour of braising.
One of the first dishes Julia Child ever taught to American cooks, boeuf bourguignon simmers chunks of beef in red wine with onions, mushrooms, aromatic herbs and sometimes other vegetables. Boeuf bourguigon is usually oven-baked, with the lid off the casserole for the last half hour to brown the top. Make a classic American beef stew in the oven or use your slow cooker. Check the size of your cooker if scaling down a larger recipe. Dredging cubes of meat in seasoned flour and browning them before adding other ingredients gives you the foundation for a delicious meaty gravy.
Chopped Chili Beef
Chili-makers divide over whether beef should be ground or cut in small pieces. Bottom round is a good resource for those whose chili is based on chopped or diced meat. Cut meat into 1/2 inch slices, then 1/2 inch cubes for rib-sticking chili that can simmer on the back of the stove for 3 hours or longer.
Leftover Cooked Bottom Round
Sometimes your almost-2-pound bottom round roast began as a larger roast and is now a cooked leftover. Sliced very thin, piled on warm crusty rolls, leftover bottom round needs only a cup of beef broth heated with a pat of butter to become a tasty French dip sandwich. Shred or finely chop cooked round to make American- or Latin-style roast beef hash. American hash combines meat with onions and potatoes, sometimes sporting a poached egg on top. Latin versions, often called picadillo, may contain onions, olives, raisins, plantain bananas or an assortment of sweet and hot peppers. Create a hearty pre-ski breakfast, warm winter lunch or quick supper by making a hash of your leftover beef.